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NEW JERSEY'S PENSION CRISIS. HOW DID WE GET THERE?

 

 

         The League of Women Voters of Northern Valley will present “New Jersey’s Pension Crisis.  How Did We Get There?” at the organization’s annual meeting on Tuesday, May 17 at Spasso Italian Bistro located at 172 Piermont Road, Cresskill, New Jersey.  The public is invited to attend.  Registration begins at 5:30 p.m., followed by a dinner, and the presentation at 7:00 p.m.  The charge for the dinner is $30 per person.

         At the annual meeting, the League will present an overview of the year’s events and its plans for the future.  Guest speaker Mary Forsberg, Research Director of New Jersey Policy Perspective (NJPP), will discuss New Jersey’s current pension crisis and its history. 

         NJPP, a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization based in Trenton, New Jersey, was founded in 1997 to provide credible research and analysis on critical issues facing the state.  Forsberg, NJPP’s Interim President in 2009-2010, focuses on state and local taxation, the state budget and how fiscal policies and the economy interact.  She has written numerous reports on the New Jersey state budget, corporate business taxes, income and sales taxes, paid family leave, financing of higher education and prisons, FamilyCare and the financial cost of the death penalty.

         The League of Women Voters was an outgrowth of the 19th amendment passed in 1920 giving women the right to vote.  With over 1,000 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.

Contact Information

         For more information about the League, visit the organization’s website at lwvbergen.org.   Contact Lucy Heller at 201-391-5617 or lucyheller@optonline for more information about the annual meeting or to register.  

The Bible on Trial- Beyond a Reasonable Doubt

The Bible- how could it possibly be true and accurate? How can you know? What about this book has compelled people to give their lives to defend its claims? The truthfulness and validity of the Bible has been questioned for ages and still remains an intriguing subject that has a proven ability to attract audiences! The Bible on Trial from Envoy Productions takes a unique look at the subject and presents facts about the most widely printed, best-selling book in history. Internationally recognized experts examine ancient texts and archaeological findings and use other related disciplines and "Standards of Reliability" to judge the integrity and importance of this most well-known of all books. The program illuminates the efforts taken throughout history to make sure of the Bible's integrity and assure us of its significance. The Bible on Trial invites you viewers to be the jury in this case. Watch "The Bible on Trial" at 3:00 PM this Sunday, May 15th, on Channel 2.

NEW DEALS for OLD WHEELS! Rotary Club of The Palisades, NJ to Hold Second Bicycle, Sewing Machine Drive

 

 

         Rotary Club of The Palisades, NJ, covering the towns of Leonia, Edgewater, and Palisades Park, New Jersey, and Leonia Youth Group will hold a used bicycle and sewing machine collection drive on June 11.  The drive will support Pedals for Progress’ (P4P) efforts to recycle bicycles and working portable sewing machines to be used in developing countries.  The public is invited to donate adult’s or children’s bicycles in repairable condition or sewing machines. 

         Bicycles may be dropped off on Saturday, June 11, 2011 rain or shine, from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. at the Presbyterian Church in Leonia, New Jersey, 181 Fort Lee Road.  The bicycles and sewing machines will be sent to Nicaragua, Ghana, Moldova, Uganda, and Guatemala.  Brochures about P4P and its innovative programming will be available at the collection site. 


             No tricycles, “bicycles for parts” or disassembled bicycles will be accepted.  The bicycles and sewing machines must be rust free.  Bicycles with flat tires in need of some repair will be accepted.  Donations of wrenches for P4P’s overseas shops are also welcomed.


         A cost of $35 is incurred to collect, process, ship, rebuild and distribute each bicycle or sewing machine.  A donation toward shipping costs is necessary, and each donor is asked to contribute a minimum of $10 per bicycle or sewing machine.  All cash and material donations are fully tax-deductible and a receipt will be provided at the collection site. 

 

         For more information about the collection drive, contact Richard Stenken at 201-944-6032.

Pedals for Progress                                                                  

         P4P, a nonprofit, tax-exempt organization located in High Bridge, New Jersey, is a registered charity in the states of New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, Massachusetts, and Vermont.  The organization collects 7,000 to 9,000 bicycles annually that are transferred to those more needy.  To date, more than 124,500 bicycles and 1,488 sewing machines have been shipped to developing countries in Latin America, Africa, and Eastern Europe. 

 

         In these countries, the bicycles are reconditioned by partner agencies and distributed at low cost to poor working adults.  The bicycles provide them with reliable transportation for commuting to work, transporting produce to market, or accessing health care and other services.  The sewing machines help people develop their own resources to create businesses.  Steady employment for these adults is vital to the development and success of their local economies.


         For further information about P4P, go to www.p4p.org or call 908-638-4811.

About Rotary Club of The Palisades, NJ
                  Rotary Club of The Palisades, NJ, a nonprofit service club encompassing Edgewater, Leonia, and Palisades Park, New Jersey, was formed on October 10, 2008 and chartered on June 30, 2009.  The Club is part of Rotary International, a worldwide organization of more than 1.2 million business, professional, and community leaders.  Over 33,000 Rotary clubs are found in more than 200 countries and geographical areas.  Clubs are nonpolitical, nonreligious, and open to all cultures, races, and creeds.  Rotary Club of The Palisades, NJ is dedicated to the organization’s motto of “Service Above Self”—to serve our local communities and foster peace throughout the world.


                  People interested in joining the organization are invited to attend a breakfast meeting to learn more about the Club, membership, and its activities.  The Club meets every Friday morning at 7:30 a.m. at the Golden Eagle Diner, 239 Broad Avenue in Palisades Park, New Jersey.  To learn more about this service club, visit www.clubrunner.ca/palisades, contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call 201-886-9275. 

 

 

       

Local Residents Donate Pet Oxygen Masks to Little Ferry EMS

Liz and Peter Pezzillo, residents of Little Ferry, recently donated a set of pet oxygen masks to the Little Ferry EMS on behalf of Companion Animal Advocates (CAA).  The masks come in three sizes for large, medium and small dogs/cats. These specially sized masks will enable firefighters or EMT’s to deliver oxygen to pets in need and in some cases save their lives.

If you are interested in donating a set of oxygen masks to your community, please contact Christine at CAA at 201-706-7666.
Companion Animal Advocates (CAA) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization based in Bergen County, NJ. CAA is dedicated to the welfare of companion animals within our community through programs designed to keep pets in their homes and reduce pet overpopulation. For further information, please contact Christine at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.">This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
, visit www.CompanionAnimalAdvocates.org and sign up for our newsletter or contact us at 201-706-7666.

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Photo from left to right:
Alastair McIndoe, Maywood Fire Police and CAA volunteer, Captain of Little Ferry EMS and owner of PetSpa in Little Ferry, Geoff Fallows, Liz Pezzillo holding Maggie and Peter Pezzillo holding Nicky, donors and residents of Little Ferry

Rotary Club of The Palisades, NJ Reschedules 'NJ Association of Verismo Opera in the Community' to June 3

       

           Rotary Club of The Palisades, NJ has rescheduled the presentation of  "New Jersey Association of Verismo Opera (Verismo Opera) in the Community" to June 3, 7:30 a.m., at the Golden Eagle Diner located at 239 Broad Avenue in Palisades Park, New Jersey. 

           The presentation is open to the public.  Attendees pay for their own breakfasts.  To R.S.V.P. or for further information, contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call 201-886-9275.

            Fort Lee resident Gianni Simone, President of Verismo Opera, will present an overview of the nonprofit opera company's extensive programs, services, and productions spanning 21 years.  Verismo Opera is the only professional grand opera company based in Bergen County and serving northern New Jersey.

            Under Metropolitan Opera star and Verismo Opera Artistic Director Lucine Amara, the company provides the Young Artists program, which trains aspiring young opera singers in stage movement, voice projection, and dramatic coaching.  The company also offers performance opportunities as covers for the principal roles and/or actual on stage opportunities.

            Located in Fort Lee, New Jersey, the company presented in April Giuseppe Verdi’s grandest opera, Aida, at the BergenPAC in Englewood, New Jersey.  The production was directed by Canadian director/soprano, Evelyn La Quaif, and internationally renowned Principal Conductor and Music Director, Anthony Morss, conducted the full Verismo Opera Orchestra and Chorus.

 
             Rotary Club of The Palisades, NJ, a nonprofit service club encompassing Edgewater, Leonia, and Palisades Park, New Jersey, was formed on October 10, 2008 and chartered on June 30, 2009.  The Club is part of Rotary International, a worldwide organization of more than 1.2 million business, professional, and community leaders.  Over 33,000 Rotary clubs are found in more than 200 countries and geographical areas.  Clubs are nonpolitical, nonreligious, and open to all cultures, races, and creeds.  Rotary Club of The Palisades, NJ is dedicated to the organization’s motto of “Service Above Self”— to serve our local communities and foster peace throughout the world.

              People interested in joining the organization are invited to attend a breakfast meeting to learn more about the Club, membership, and its activities.  The Club meets every Friday morning at 7:30 a.m. at the Golden Eagle Diner, 239 Broad Avenue in Palisades Park, New Jersey.  To learn more about this service club, visit www.clubrunner.ca/palisades, contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call 201-886-9275. 

 

RIDGEFIELD PARK PAYS BUSINESS GRANT FORWARD WITH FREE MULCH PROGRAM FOR RESIDENTS, BEAUTIFICATION OF TOWN PROPERTIES, AND MUNICIPAL COST SAVINGS

Stimulus Grant Provides Opportunity for Shade Tree Commission to Store Hardwood Chips, Educate Homeowners on How and Why to Use, and Support  Boy Scouts

May 3, 2011 – Flo Muller, chairperson of the Ridgefield Park Shade Tree Commission, has announced a new program for town residents who wish to use wood chips on their property. Thanks to a business stimulus grant the municipality received, the Commission can now store mulch at the Department of Public Works facility, and provide the hardwood chips for free to residents upon request. The program will save money for homeowners as well as the Village of Ridgefield Park, which until now did not have anywhere to store the mulch it made after pruning town trees or processing felled trees. The grant was awarded by the New Jersey Community Stewardship Incentive Program in September 2010.

                                                     

“We used to pay a recycling company about $35 per ton to cart away the debris from pruned or removed trees we processed, then we’d turn around and pay a nursery to bring fresh mulch in for use on public property,” said Kate Spontak, a member of the Shade Tree Commission.  “The business stimulus grant allowed us to purchase a storage container which will save Ridgefield Park approximately $500 a year on mulch purchasing costs and thousands of dollars on tree waste disposal.” According to the Ridgefield Park Department of Public Works, the town spent $16,275 to dispose of yard waste, which includes the debris from pruned or removed trees; converting usable debris into mulch could potentially save half that cost.

 

The Business Stimulus Fund Grant was for the Village to develop an ongoing practice of using wood chips created in the course of tree care in town to mulch all the public trees, and make mulch available to residents who wish to use it in their landscaping. The Shade Tree Commission will hold training classes and demonstrations for Village employees and volunteers as well as homeowners in proper mulching techniques to ensure that the wood chips it provides are used properly.

 

Stimulus Fund Boosts Business, Supports Scouts

The Commission used the funds to purchase a 30-yard container to store wood chips, and the tools, safety equipment, and gloves to be used in doing the work. The new mulch container is usually parked at the DPW facility on Industrial Avenue along the north driveway across from the fuel pumps.

 

The grant also covered the fee of a professional arborist to provide training in the proper application of mulch to Commission members and local Boy Scout Troop 3, whose members will apply mulch to Village trees on streets and in parks.  Paying the grant forward even more, the town will compensate the Scouts for the work they do, and the troop will use the money for their camping trips and special outings. 

 

At the Village’s Earth Day event on May 7, the Village Arborist, Paul Cowie will demonstrate proper mulching techniques and the Boy Scouts of Troop 3 will display their new skills as they lay mulch around trees in Riverfront Park.   

 

 “We will plan an educational mulching session for homeowners later this spring,” said Spontak. “We want everyone to know this natural hardwood substance is available to all residents, it’s free, and when applied properly, the wood chips are very beneficial to a tree’s root zone, help retain soil moisture, improve soil structure, and control weeds.” She added that the key to good mulching is to keep the mulch only 2 to 3 inches thick on the ground around the tree, and keeping it away from the trunk of the tree. “Mulch against the tree trunk holds moisture that promotes rot, insects and diseases,” Spontak said. 

 

For more information about using hardwood mulch around trees, future training sessions for Ridgefield Park residents on how to lay mulch or how to get mulch for free, contact the Shade Tree Commission at (201) 641-4950, ext. 136 or go to www.ridgefieldpark.org.

 

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BERGEN BUSINESSWOMEN TO HOST NETWORKING EVENTS AND PROGRAMS THROUGHOUT MAY FOR AREA PROFESSIONALS

Bergen Chapter of NJAWBO Invites Business Owners to Make New Connections, Hear Guest Speaker and Win Prizes at Annual “Success” Event

 

BERGEN COUNTY, N.J., April 27, 2011 – The Bergen chapter of the New Jersey Association of Women Business Owners (NJAWBO) will hold three meetings in May that are open to all area professionals and business owners. As part of the Bergen chapter’s membership drive, the first prospective member to join NJAWBO at any meeting throughout the month will receive a voucher for free admission to chapter networking events. There is no charge for the brown bag lunch; Business Over Breakfast and Keys to Success are paid events, as follows:

 

  • Richard Luna, former IT Director of U.S. News & World Report and a founding partner of Protected Harbor, a computer services outsourcing provider, will present “How To Be Smarter With Your Smartphoneon Tuesday, May 3 during a brown bag lunch from 12 noon to 2:00 p.m.  Luna will help demystify Smartphones and explain how they can help entrepreneurs work more effectively in their businesses. The meeting will be held in the party room of Matisse Chocolatier, 260 Grand Avenue in Englewood (parking and entrance are at the rear of the building). There is no cost to attend; participants bring their own lunch.  To register, call 201-444-8773, ext 5, or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..
  •   Business Over Breakfast networking meeting onThursday, May 12 from 8:00 to 9:30 a.m. at Panera’s Bakery Cafe, 165 Route 4 West in Paramus (Paramus Place shopping center). Attendees will introduce themselves, describe their products or services, and brainstorm solutions to a member-presented challenge. Cost is $10 NJAWBO members, $15 non-members; cash only. For reservations call 201-444-8773, ext. 4, or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..
  • The Bergen chapter of NJAWBO will hold its fourth annual “Keys to Success” event, featuring guest speaker Margaret Bigley, former director of advertising for Pathmark Stores on Wednesday, May 25 at the Holiday Inn Hasbrouck Heights, 283 Rt. 17 South. Bigley will share her corporate and entrepreneurial experiences; attendees will play to win prizes. Networking starts at 5:45 p.m.; dinner and program 6:30 p.m. Advance registration is required, no walk-ins allowed. The early-bird price for all registrations and payments received by May 11 is $40; after May 11 the price is $45. For reservations call (201) 444-8773, ext. 3 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

The New Jersey Association of Women Business Owners is the oldest statewide organization focused on the needs and concerns of business ownership by women. Since 1978 it has fulfilled its mission through local, regional and statewide networking events and programs, education, and legislative advocacy. The organization has approximately 700 members in 13 chapters throughout New Jersey; founded in 1980, the Bergen chapter with 100 members is one of the oldest and most well established in the state. For information about the Bergen chapter, call (201) 444-8773 or go to www.njawbobergen.org. For information about NJAWBO membership and state or regional events and programs, visit www.njawbo.org.

 

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Ridgefield Memorial High School Students Got All Wrapped-up For Companion Animal Advocates

Companion Animal Advocates (CAA) recently received a generous donation of pet food from the students of the STRIVE program at Ridgefield Memorial High School.  A car-load of food, treats and other gifts were donated by the group and dispersed to the Center for Food Action locations in Mahwah and Elmwood Park as well as Social Service Association of Ridgewood and Vicinity through CAA’s Operation Feed-A-Pet program. 

 

The STRIVE program at Ridgefield Memorial High School focuses on everyday life functioning skills. As a holiday fundraising benefit, the students decided to raise money for Companion Animal Advocates by having a  "wrap-a-thon" in the classroom. With the money raised from staff and faculty bringing in their gifts to be wrapped by the students, the students then purchased dog and cat food to help those who are having trouble feeding their family pets this season. As a life skills assignment, the class also called to receive the $2 coupon for Purina, which they also donated to the organization.

 

“We are so proud of these students and the hard work and dedication that they provided to CAA and its mission to keep pets with their families,” said Christine McIndoe, Vice President of Companion Animal Advocates.  “In this day and age, so many people are struggling and doing without.  Many of them have pets and are trying not to surrender them to a shelter.  This is where CAA comes in and tries to make life a little easier by providing the nutritious food that the pets need, therefore, eliminating the financial burden on these families,” she continued. 

 

Please visit our Web site, www.CompanionAnimalAdvocates.org, for more details on how you can raise funds or host a pet food drive for Companion Animal Advocates or simply sign up for our newsletter.  Please call  (201) 706-7666 with any questions.

About Companion Animal Advocates:

Companion Animal Advocates (CAA) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization based in Bergen County, NJ. CAA is dedicated to the welfare of companion animals within our community through programs designed to keep pets in their homes and reduce pet overpopulation. For more information on Companion Animal Advocates or how you can help, please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or phone at (201) 706-7666. Please visit our Web site www.CompanionAnimalAdvocates.org to sign up for our newsletter.

Leonia Arts to Hold Piano Master Class with Steven Masi; Auditions May 31

 Leonia Arts to Hold Piano Master Class with Steven Masi

--Auditions Scheduled for May 31--

 

        Leonia Arts announces that a Piano Master Class with renowned pianist, Steven Masi, will be held on Friday, June 17 from 7:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m. at the Leonia High School Little Theatre.  The event will be hosted by Leonia Arts and sponsored by the Leonia Public Schools’ Music Department.  A reception will follow provided by the Leonia Home and School Association. 

            Masi, a member of the piano faculty at the JCC Thurnauer School of Music in Tenafly, has given master classes at music schools and universities throughout the United States, Germany, Taiwan and India.  A graduate of the Juilliard School, he has appeared as a soloist with the Atlanta Symphony, American Symphony, New Symphony of London and Southwest German Radio Orchestra.  He has received several awards, including first prize in the Atlanta Symphony Competition and was a prize winner in the WQXR and Busoni Competitions.

            Auditions for the Piano Master Class will be held on Tuesday, May 31 at 7:00 p.m. in the Leonia High School Music Room.  Master class applicants of all piano levels, who want to audition, must be Leonia residents or students enrolled in a school in the borough.  The registration deadline is May 24.  For registration information, contact Douglas Chung, owner of Soloist Music located at 336 Broad Avenue, at 201-944-7656 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

            Leonia Arts’ mission is to support, stimulate, enhance, promote and connect the arts within the borough and to other communities.  The grassroots organization was formed in 2005 to support and enhance the varied cultural arts groups and artists, who live and work in the borough.  This cultural alliance connects creative artists to each other and to the community and provides support for their efforts in the borough often called the “Athens of New Jersey”. 

            For more information about Leonia Arts, contact Leonia Arts President, Kathy Pecht, at 201-944-0510 or send an e-mail to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..  Artists, organizations or groups that have upcoming arts events in Leonia to add to the Leonia Arts calendar may contact Susie Levy at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

 


           

Hispanic Business Council Scholarship Foundation of NJ, Inc. to Hold 20th Annual Gala

 

 

          The Hispanic Business Council Scholarship Foundation of NJ, Inc. (HBCSF) announces that $40,000 in scholarships and book stipends for current college and college-bound Hispanic students from New Jersey will be awarded on Thursday, May 12, 2011 at the organization’s 20th Annual Scholarship Gala, “Developing Future Leaders”.

           The HBCSF, a nonprofit, tax-exempt organization, has 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. 

            The gala, which kicks off at 6:30 p.m. at The Estate at Florentine Gardens, 97 Rivervale Rd. in River Vale, New Jersey, is the nonprofit organization’s major fund-raiser of the year for scholarship support.  The evening includes a cocktail reception at 6:30 p.m. and a program, dinner, and dancing starting at 7:30 p.m.  Lisa Mateo of PIX11 Morning News returns for a third year to serve as mistress of ceremonies.  Entertainment will be provided by Trio Cristal and Ray Castro’s Conjunto ClasicoA silent auction will also be held during the event.

            A highlight of the gala will be the announcement of the 2011 scholarship and book stipend award recipients throughout the state.  Three scholarships of $4,000, five of scholarships of $3,000 and three scholarships of $2,000 each, respectively will be awarded.  The HBCSF will also announce six book stipend awards of $1,000 each and two of $500.  From 1993 to the present, the foundation has awarded $325,500 to 120 students throughout the state.

            This year’s annual gala recognizes the following two honorees for their leadership and contributions to the community: Dario A. Cortes, Ph.D., President, Berkeley College and Lillian Rodríguez López, President, Hispanic Federation.

            To date, the 2011 sponsors instrumental in providing funding for this year’s scholarship awards by platinum, gold and bronze levels are as follows.  Platinum sponsors are Mercedes-Benz USA, LLC; PIX11 and Tribune Broadcasting; and Wells Fargo Private Bank.  Gold sponsors are Berkeley College, Quixote Dunes, Inc., Unilever and Verizon.  The bronze level sponsors are Booz | Allen | Hamilton, New Jersey Accounting Services, Inc., haute couture designer Nicolas Felizola, Prudential and PSE&G.

            General admission tickets to the gala are $250 and may be purchased online at www.hbcsf.org 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, contact Hector Banegas, president HBCSF, at 201-226-3033, send an inquiry to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., or visit www.hbcsf.orgDonations are welcomed and may be made online or sent to HBCSF, 429C Cedar Lane #313, Teaneck, New Jersey 07666.  

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