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Hackensack Honored with Smart Growth Award for Downtown Renaissance

On Thursday, June 5, New Jersey Future will honor the Upper Main Alliance along with the City of Hackensack and DMR Architects with a 2014 Smart Growth Award.

The Upper Main Alliance is being honored for its part in the creation of theDowntown Rehabilitation Plan for the City of Hackensack. The Rehabilitation Plan includes design regulations and flexible zoning that foster a revitalized downtown.

This award comes at a time when Hackensack, specifically its downtown, is undergoing an economic and cultural renaissance, transforming into a walkable, livable, sustainable community. The ultimate goal of the Rehabilitation Plan is to strengthen and empower existing businesses and provide new opportunities for mixed-use development, thus returning Hackensack to its former status as the cultural and economic heart of Bergen County.

“We are overjoyed to be recognized by New Jersey Future,” said Jerome J. Lombardo, the chairman of the Upper Main Alliance and local businessman. “The Rehabilitation Plan for Hackensack’s downtown has taken several years to create and put into place, and The Smart Growth Award reaffirms the vision that the Upper Main Alliance has for Hackensack’s Main Street. We have the perfect mix of location, density, diversity and history.  And the Rehabilitation Plan, with new relaxed zoning, has primed Main Street to welcome new luxury apartment homes, unique destination stores, exotic restaurants and lively entertainment venues that foster a vibrant community and economy.”

Since 2004 The Upper Main Alliance (uppermain.org), a public private partnership between the business community and the City of Hackensack, has provided Main Street with visual improvements, clean and green programs, merchant grants, marketing and events such as the Hackensack Street Festival. In addition to working with the city to develop the Rehabilitation Plan they help promote Main Street to local residents. In 2014 they released the Hackensack Main Street Smartphone App, the first of its kind for a NJ main street.

New Jersey Future has honored more than 80 projects with Smart Growth Awards. Winners are selected from a statewide public nomination process by an independent jury of professional developers, architects, planners and redevelopment experts.   This year The Downtown Rehabilitation Plan for Hackensack is one of only two downtowns being honored.

League of Women Voters Announces Board of Directors. Honors Haworth Resident.

 

The League of Women Voters of Northern Valley (LWVNV), a nonpartisan political organization serving residents in 27 towns in Bergen County, elected and announced its 2013-2014 board of directors at the annual meeting held recently at Griffin’s Restaurant in Cresskill, New Jersey.

           

Chris Sagona, a Park Ridge resident, was named a new director and appointed to the position of President. Joyce Luhrs and Nike Prieston-Bach, both from Leonia, were named Vice-Presidents and will support the president’s efforts to implement the organization’s mission. Vicki Sidrow of Fort Lee and Fran Molnar, a Tenafly resident, were elected Treasurer and Secretary, respectively.     

 

The following members will serve as directors on the 2013-2014 board of directors: Ellen Bakish, Betty Frank and Lorraine Cohen from Englewood; Naomi Epstein of Demarest; Carol Bernstein, Bobbie Hass, and Shirley Shapiro from Tenafly; Lucy Heller, President of the League of Women Voters of Bergen County, and Vi Ruschman, both from Park Ridge; and Anne Lander of Harrington Park. Fort Lee resident Ann Moscovitz was named Past President. Hass will continue as the organization’s newsletter editor.

 

Luhrs, the LWVNV’s Public Relations Chair, will also head up the organization’s public relations and marketing efforts. Prieston-Bach will serve as Vice President of Membership and develop and implement the LWVNV’s membership recruitment campaign.

 

Member Honored

Lee Benjamin of Haworth was recognized for hosting for several years the LWVNV’s winter holiday luncheon for members and friends. Lucy Heller, a member of the board of directors, presented the certificate of recognition. Benjamin has been a member of the organization for over 30 years and was actively involved in promoting the League’s recycling program in Haworth.

 

LWVNV members presented an overview of the organization’s work, events, and activities undertaken over the past 12 months and future plans. Sidrow, President/CEO of Vantage Health System, Inc., was the guest speaker and presented Mental Health in the Affordable Care Act and the impact of this federal healthcare legislation on mental health services.

 

The League was an outgrowth of the 19th amendment passed in 1920 giving women the right to vote. With over 800 local Leagues throughout the country, the organization gained prestige by maintaining its nonpartisanship; sponsoring candidates’ forums for local, state and national elections; holding registration drives; disseminating nonpartisan information on candidates; and holding public meetings to discuss current issues. League membership is open to both men and women of voting age who support its mission.

 

The League of Women Voters of Northern Valley draws members from Alpine, Bergenfield, Cliffside Park, Closter, Cresskill, Demarest, Dumont, Edgewater, Emerson, Englewood, Englewood Cliffs, Fort Lee, Hackensack, Harrington Park, Haworth, Hillsdale, Leonia, Montvale, New Milford, Northvale, Norwood, Old Tappan, Park Ridge, River Vale, Tenafly, Washington Township and Woodcliff Lake.

 

For information about the League, visit the organization’s website or contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or (201) 947-0756.

Laegue of Women Voters Elects Board

The League of Women Voters of Northern Valley (LWVNV), a nonpartisan political organization serving residents in 27 towns in Bergen County, elected and announced its 2013-2014 board of directors at the annual meeting held recently at Griffin’s Restaurant in Cresskill, New Jersey.

           

Chris Sagona, a Park Ridge resident, was named a new director and appointed to the position of President. Joyce Luhrs and Nike Prieston-Bach, both from Leonia, were named Vice-Presidents and will support the president’s efforts to implement the organization’s mission. Vicki Sidrow of Fort Lee and Fran Molnar, a Tenafly resident, were elected Treasurer and Secretary, respectively.     

 

The following members will serve as directors on the 2013-2014 board of directors: Ellen Bakish, Betty Frank and Lorraine Cohen from Englewood; Naomi Epstein of Demarest; Carol Bernstein, Bobbie Hass, and Shirley Shapiro from Tenafly; Lucy Heller, President of the League of Women Voters of Bergen County, and Vi Ruschman, both from Park Ridge; and Anne Lander of Harrington Park. Fort Lee resident Ann Moscovitz was named Past President. Hass will continue as the organization’s newsletter editor.

 

Luhrs, the LWVNV’s Public Relations Chair, will also head up the organization’s public relations and marketing efforts. Prieston-Bach will serve as Vice President of Membership and develop and implement the LWVNV’s membership recruitment campaign.

 

Member Honored

Lee Benjamin of Haworth was recognized for hosting for several years the LWVNV’s winter holiday luncheon for members and friends. Lucy Heller, a member of the board of directors, presented the certificate of recognition. Benjamin has been a member of the organization for over 30 years and was actively involved in promoting the League’s recycling program in Haworth.

 

LWVNV members presented an overview of the organization’s work, events, and activities undertaken over the past 12 months and future plans. Sidrow, President/CEO of Vantage Health System, Inc., was the guest speaker and presented Mental Health in the Affordable Care Act and the impact of this federal healthcare legislation on mental health services.

 

The League was an outgrowth of the 19th amendment passed in 1920 giving women the right to vote. With over 800 local Leagues throughout the country, the organization gained prestige by maintaining its nonpartisanship; sponsoring candidates’ forums for local, state and national elections; holding registration drives; disseminating nonpartisan information on candidates; and holding public meetings to discuss current issues. League membership is open to both men and women of voting age who support its mission.

 

The League of Women Voters of Northern Valley draws members from Alpine, Bergenfield, Cliffside Park, Closter, Cresskill, Demarest, Dumont, Edgewater, Emerson, Englewood, Englewood Cliffs, Fort Lee, Hackensack, Harrington Park, Haworth, Hillsdale, Leonia, Montvale, New Milford, Northvale, Norwood, Old Tappan, Park Ridge, River Vale, Tenafly, Washington Township and Woodcliff Lake.

 

For information about the League, visit the organization’s website or contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or (201) 947-0756.

Hispanic Business Council Scholarship Foundation of NJ to Hold 22nd Annual Gala

Bergen County’s Hispanic Business Council Scholarship Foundation of NJ, Inc. (HBCSF) will award $46,000 in scholarships and stipends for course-required materials to 21 current college and college-bound Hispanic students from New Jersey at its 22nd Annual Scholarship Gala.

The gala will be held on Thursday, May 30, 2013 at 6:00 p.m. at The Estate at Florentine Gardens, 97 Rivervale Rd. in River Vale, New Jersey. The event is the nonprofit organization’s major fund-raiser of the year for scholarship and stipend support.

The evening begins with a cocktail reception at 6:00 p.m., followed by a program, dinner, and dancing starting at 7:00 p.m. Lisa Mateo of PIX11 Morning News returns for a fifth year to serve as mistress of ceremonies. Trio Cristal and DJ Danny Leahey will provide the entertainment. A silent auction and a Tricky Tray will also be held during the event, with 100% of the funds raised directed to scholarship awards and stipends for course-required materials.

A highlight of the gala will be the announcement of the 2013 scholarship recipients and stipend awardees drawn throughout the state. From 1993 to the present, the foundation has awarded $411,500 to 160 students throughout New Jersey.

The gala will also recognize the following three honorees selected for their leadership and contributions to the community: Dr. Juan A. Gonzalez, Jr., M.D., Senior Partner of Surgical Specialists of North Jersey; Janet Sharma, Executive Director, Volunteer Center of Bergen County; and Camelia M. Valdes, Esq., Passaic County Prosecutor.

To date, the 2013 sponsors instrumental in providing funding for this year’s awards by platinum, gold, silver and bronze levels are as follows: Platinum-Wells Fargo Private Bank; Gold-Berkeley College, Hoboken University Medical Center, Mercedes-Benz USA, LLC and Unilever; Silver-Palisades Medical Center; and Bronze-Citrin Cooperman, Luhrs & Associates, New Jersey Accounting Services, Inc., Plata Ferrer & Gutierrez LLC, PNC Bank, PSE&G, Takasago International Corporation (USA), The Center for Better Smiles, LLC and U.S. Financial Services, LLC. This year, the BCC Foundation on behalf of Bergen Community College has sponsored two $4,000 scholarships. Edward Chase Images is an in-kind sponsor.

General admission tickets to the gala are $250 and may be purchased online or by sending checks payable to the HBCSF, 429C Cedar Lane #313, Teaneck, New Jersey 07666. Sponsorship opportunities are available at the levels of platinum, $7,500; gold, $5,000; silver, $3,000; and bronze, $1,500.

For more information about the annual gala, sponsorship opportunities, donations, or the HBCSF, send an inquiry to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or visit the organization online.

The HBCSF is a nonprofit, tax-exempt organization with a mission to advance the educational aspirations of Hispanic students so that they may become professionals, leaders and valued citizens of the community. The foundation accomplishes this by providing scholarships for a college education based on academic excellence and financial need. Donations are welcome and may be made online or sent to HBCSF, 429C Cedar Lane #313, Teaneck, New Jersey 07666.

For more information about the HBCSF, visit www.hbcsf.org or follow the organization on Facebook and Twitter @HBCSF.

Verismo Opera to Hold Auditions at Bergen Performing Arts Center. Stage Manager Wanted.

 

Lucine Amara, Artistic Director of Bergen County’s New Jersey Association of Verismo Opera, invites soloists in all voice categories to audition for roles and experienced stage managers to apply for the position in the professional company’s 2013-2014 productions. New Jersey residents are encouraged to apply.

           

Solo roles are available in the company’s new productions of Pietro Mascagni’s Cavalleria Rusticana, Giacomo Puccini’s Suor Angelica, Giuseppe Verdi’s La Traviata, and Puccini’s La Boheme. Open auditions will be held on Monday, June 17 and Tuesday, June 18 from 5 pm to 8 pm at the Bergen Performing Arts Center (bergenPAC) in the Cabaret Room located at 30 North Van Brunt Street in Englewood, New Jersey.

 

The double bill of Cavalleria Rusticana and Suor Angelica will be presented on Sunday, October 20, 2013. Verismo Opera will perform La Traviata on Sunday, April 6, 2014 and La Boheme on October 26, 2014. All of the productions will be presented at 3:00 p.m. at the bergenPAC.

           

Verismo Opera will present these grand operas fully staged with a live orchestra and chorus. The selected vocalists will receive free coaching from professionals in the field, including Artistic Director and Metropolitan Opera luminary Lucine Amara, General Manager/Stage Director Evelyn La Quaif, Maestro Anthony Morss, and Chorus Director Mara Waldman. Professional photos and a DVD of the production will be available to use for future engagements and performances.

The application deadline to audition is June 15, 2013. An accompanist will be provided, although applicants may bring his/her own. No fee is charged to audition. For an audition appointment, call 201-886-0561or send an This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..?subject=New%20Jersey%20Association%20of%20Verismo%20Opera%20Audition%20Appointment">e-mail.

Applicants must submit a bio listing current or past performances and roles sung, a resume, photo and an audio file, preferably in an MP3 format or on a CD, by the application deadline to Verismo Opera Inc., P.O. Box 3024, Fort Lee, New Jersey 07024-9024 or send an This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.%20?subject=Verismo%20Opera%20Audition">e-mail.

 

Stage Manger

The nonprofit opera company is also recruiting for the paid position of stage manager for the fall production of Cavalleria Rusticana and Suor Angelica. Applicants must have a minimum of two years experience working as a stage manager in theater or opera productions.   New Jersey residents are encouraged to apply. Resumes should beThis email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.%20?subject=Verismo%20Opera%20Stage%20Manager%20Position"> emailed or mailed to NJAVO, POB 3024, Fort Lee, New Jersey 07024-9024.

For more information about Verismo Opera, visit its web site; follow the company on http://bit.ly/9JXTP8%20">Facebook or Twitter @NJVerismoOpera; or call (201) 886-0561.

  

League of Women Voters Annual Meeting: Mental Health and Affordable Care Act

The League of Women Voters of Northern Valley (LWVNV) will hold its annual meeting on Monday, May 20 at Griffin's Bar & Grill, 44 East Madison Avenue, Cresskill, New Jersey. The organization will celebrate programs and events undertaken during the year and recognize members’ contributions. The public is invited to attend.

 

Guest speaker, Vicki Sidrow, President/CEO of Vantage Health System, Inc., will present Mental Health in the Affordable Care Act. She will discuss the impact of this federal healthcare legislation on mental health services. Vantage Health System, Inc., a private not for profit, 501 (C) 3 charitable organization with offices in Dumont and Englewood, provides a system of community based facilities and programs throughout Bergen County. A question and answer period will follow.

Registration begins at 5:30 p.m., followed by a dinner comprised of a choice of soup or salad, three entrees, dessert and coffee. The charge for the dinner is $25 per person with a cash bar.

 

During the meeting, the LWVNV, encompassing over 20 towns in Bergen County, will discuss its activities and work undertaken during the past 12 months. "The League of Women Voters of Northern Valley held critical events such as Democracy in the Balance. The Affects of Money on Elections and Its Impact on Democracy and the Stop Human Trafficking Now Forum that was co-sponsored with other organizations. We provided voter services in various towns in Bergen County and publicized extensively thevoter resources available from the LWVNV for the November elections," said Joyce Luhrs, public relations chair and member of the board of trustees of the League of Women Voters of Northern Valley.

 

For further information about the event or to RSVP, call (201) 568-0787.

           

 

The League was an outgrowth of the 19th amendment passed in 1920 giving women the right to vote. With over 800 local Leagues throughout the country, the organization gained prestige by maintaining its nonpartisanship; sponsoring candidates’ forums for local, state and national elections; holding registration drives; disseminating nonpartisan information on candidates; and holding public meetings to discuss current issues. League membership is open to both men and women of voting age who support its mission.

 

The League of Women Voters of Northern Valley draws members from Alpine, Bergenfield, Cliffside Park, Closter, Cresskill, Demarest, Dumont, Edgewater, Emerson, Englewood, Englewood Cliffs, Fort Lee, Hackensack, Harrington Park, Haworth, Hillsdale, Leonia, Montvale, New Milford, Northvale, Norwood, Old Tappan, Park Ridge, River Vale, Tenafly, Washington Township and Woodcliff Lake.

 

For a membership packet and other information about the League, visit the organization’s website or contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

“WHY COUNTY POLICE?” LEAGUE OF WOMEN VOTERS OF BERGEN COUNTY FORUM TO EXPLORE ROLE OF COUNTY POLICE

 

            The League of Women Voters of Bergen County will hold a public forum to discuss the role of the Bergen County Police Department on Tuesday, April 9 at 7:30 p.m. The forum will be held in the auditorium of the Bergen County Community Service Building, located at 327 Ridgewood Avenue at the corner of Farview Avenue, in Paramus, New Jersey. The site offers ample, well lit parking.


            A panel of police professionals will respond to the question, Why is the Bergen County Department of Police needed? Panelist Bergen County Police Chief Brian Higgins will review the history and mission of the county police and explain the broad scope of services that the Department of Public Safety provides. Other panelists will discuss the interaction between the municipal and county police; the teams of highly trained specialists who respond to special emergency situations within this county department; and the work of a school resource office, a term frequently heard in the news but not clearly understood.

           

            The League of Women Voters was an outgrowth of the 19th amendment passed in 1920 giving women the right to vote. With over 800 local Leagues throughout the country, the organization gained prestige by maintaining its nonpartisanship; sponsoring candidates’ forums for local, state and national elections; holding registration drives; disseminating nonpartisan information on candidates; and holding public meetings to discuss current issues. Membership is open to both men and women of voting age who support the organization’s mission.

            For more information about the League, visit the League of Women Voters of Bergen County’s website, www.lwvbergen.org.

SEND IN THE CLOWNS

 

 

 

 

 

Verismo Opera to Perform

I Pagliacci & Gianni Schicchi at bergenPAC

Discount Ticket Rates Available April 4, 5, 6

           

         Clowns are featured in the NJ Association of Verismo Opera’s (Verismo Opera) new productions of Gianni Schicchi and I Pagliacci. The Fort Lee based opera company will present a double bill of Giacomo Puccini’s dark comedy Gianni Schicchi and Ruggero Leoncavallo’s tale of an actor’s jealous passions and the tragic consequences in I Pagliacci will be performed on Sunday, April 21, 3:00 p.m., at the Bergen Performing Arts Center (bergenPAC), 30 North Van Brunt Street,in Englewood, New Jersey.

         Under Artistic Director Lucine Amara, one of the Metropolitan Opera’s luminary performers, Verismo Opera will present the one-act operas fully staged with a live orchestra.  “Tired of ‘modernism’? Want to see period costumes and sets along with great acting and singing? Join us for our lavish productions of Gianni Schicchi and I Pagliacci. If you miss them, you’ll be sorry,” said Amara.

         Verismo Opera’s Stage Director/General Manager http://fortlee.patch.com/articles/verismo-opera-s-la-quaif-in-china">Evelyn La Quaif directs the new productions. For the first time, Chorus Director Mara Waldman will conduct the company’s orchestra in its premiere of Gianni Schicchi.  Internationally renowned Principal Conductor/Music Director Anthony Morss will conduct I Pagliacci.

In these productions, Verismo Opera depicts verismo in its purest form, showing the savagery of the people during this violent era.  With all the antics in Gianni Schicchi, I dare you to keep a straight face! The performances are so real, you won't want the curtain to close,” said La Quaif.

The performances will be sung in Italian with English supertitles.  A complete cast will perform in period costumes designed by Bergen County costumers Catherine Mirabella and Barbara Konig.

 

Special Discount Ticket Rates

         The company is offering 30% off on April 4, 5, and 6 (code PS3) on tickets priced $55 and $45 ONLY. These special discount ticket offers may be purchased online at or in person at the bergenPAC. The bergenPAC box office is open Monday through Saturday from 11 a.m. - 6 p.m.

         Children, ages 12 and under, are eligible to receive a $10 ticket to see Gianni Schicchi and I Pagliacci. Senior citizens, ages 65 and over, purchasing regular-priced tickets on non-sale dates are entitled to a 10% discount.   For further information about the special discounted children’s or senior discount tickets, call (201) 227-1030or toll free 1-888-PACSHOW.  

         Group discounts are available on $55 and $45 tickets only with a minimum purchase of ten tickets. Call Verismo Opera at 201-224-2809 for further information about the group discount rate. This rate is not available online.

         Regularly priced tickets may be purchased at any time online, through the bergenPAC box office, and by calling (201) 227-1030 or toll-free at 1-888-PACSHOW.

 

Cast Announced

Gianni Schicchi

Brian B. Carter……………….Schicchi

Jasmine Thomas………………Lauretta

Natasha Novitskaia……………Zita

Oswaldo Iraheta……………….Rinuccio

Youngchul Park……………….Gherardo

Jennifer Hoffmann…………….Nella

Andrew Appel…………………Gherardino

Andrew Hiers………………….Betto

Ryan Allen…………………….Simone

Glenn Friedman……………….Marco

Marie Anello…………………..La Ciesca

Harry Dworchak……………….Spinelloccio

Michael Janaros………………..Notary

James Moy……………………..Guccio

William Ramey…………………Pinellino

 

 

I Pagliacci

Pedro Rosales ………………….Canio

Rene Rivera …………………….Nedda

Ron Loyd………………………..Tonio

Youngchul Park…………………Beppe

Kian Freitas……………………...Silvio

James Moy………………………A Villager

Trevor Dublin…………………...A Villager

Marenda Perry…………………..A Villager

 

 

         For more information about Verismo Opera, visit its web site, join its Facebook page or follow the company on Twitter @NJVerismoOpera.



BALAM Brings Commedia dell’Arte: The Silly Truth to Leonia

 

 

BALAM Dance Theatre will present a new educational program, Commedia dell’Arte: The Silly Truth, at the Leonia Public Library, in Leonia, New Jersey, on Saturday, April 13 from 2:00-3:00 p.m.  This family friendly entertainment event is FREE and open to the public.  Limited seating is available.  For further information, contact the Leonia Public Library, located at 227 Fort Lee Road, at (201) 592-5770.

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VERISMO OPERA LAUNCHES KEEP THE ARTS ACCESSIBLE

                                                I Pagliacci. Photo: Marilyn Monsanto

 

 

The NJ Association of Verismo Opera implements a new initiative and announces special discount ticket rates for children, seniors and groups.

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