Saturday, July 27, 2013

Vice Principal's lawsuit dismissed..... AGAIN

On June 2nd I published a story regarding the dismissal of Patricia Aquino-Lozano's case against Board of Education Trustee Carol Martinez in Federal Court, you can view it by clicking here.  Aquino Lozano subsequently refiled her case in State Court.

On July 26th, Judge Rachelle Harz dismissed Aquino-Lozano's case with prejudice.  By dismissing the case with prejudice the Judge has barred Aquino-Lozano from bringing any further action relative to these claims.  A Judge will dismiss a matter with prejudice when they have determined that the plaintiff has brought the case in bad faith, has failed to bring the case in a reasonable time, has failed to comply with court procedures, or on the merits after hearing the arguments in court.


The dismissal does not bar Aquino-Lozano from appealing the court's decision.  Is a third bite at the apple imminent?  Will Aquino-Lozano waste more of the court's time? Will more of the tax payer's money be spent in the defense of Trustee Martinez?

Sunday, July 21, 2013

First Presbyterian Church hosts barbecue to fight hunger

Today, the First Presbyterian Church of Hackensack hosted their annual barbecue to fight hunger.  Headed by the Heatwole Family and catered by Fink's Barbecue of Dumont, the event drew out more than 130 locals to raise funds for the local Center for Food Action.

In attendance, Councilwoman Rose Greenman commented on the quality of the barbecue and the great cause.  Greenman remarked how great it is to see so many people coming together to support an important cause, fighting hunger.

This event, hosted annually, helps the Center for Food Action in their efforts to combat hunger and support homelessness prevention.  Locally, if you are interested in helping, the Center for Food Action accepts non-perishable food donations and is located at 316 First Street (open Monday through Thursday 9:30a to 3:30p and Friday 9:30a to 2:30p).

Kirk, Kathryn, and Lauren Heatwole hard at work
The children hosted a bake sale

A special thanks to the sponsors










Saturday, July 20, 2013

Hackensack Rotary hosts 176 hungry for "Christmas in July"

Today, the Hackensack and Teaneck Rotary Clubs joined together to feed 176 hungry at the Christ Church on State Street.


Club Presidents Sharon Bregman and Kathy Frost have seen a great need in the community and have taken their year in office (in part) as an opportunity to join forces and build on what has historically been a once annual project of the Hackensack Rotary.

The Rotary Clubs have partnered with program coordinator Judy Banes of the On Our Own Self Help Center (179 Main Street) to spread the word to those in need and make this a successful project.


Hackensack President Sharon Bregman (left),
 District Governor Lenny Agrusti (center),
and Teaneck President Kathy Frost
serve 176 hungry 





Rotary is a worldwide organization of more than 1.2 million business, professional, and community leaders. Members of Rotary clubs, known as Rotarians, provide humanitarian service, encourage high ethical standards in all vocations, and help build goodwill and peace in the world. 

 There are 33,000 Rotary clubs in more than 200 countries and geographical areas. Clubs are nonpolitical, nonreligious, and open to all cultures, races, and creeds. The Foundation is a not-for-profit corporation supported solely by voluntary contributions from Rotarians and friends of the Foundation who share its vision of a better world. 

Anyone interested in joining is encouraged to contact Amanda Missey @ phone: 201-489-9454 x 119 or email: amissey@bergenvolunteers.org.

Saturday, July 13, 2013

LOCAL BUSINESS PROMOTION: Villa de Colombia

A recent GroupOn deal, a dinner for four, brought me to this little gem at 12W Mercer St.  Villa de Colombia  is a traditional Colombian restaurant specializing in seafood and steak.


Our GroupOn deal included two appetizers, four entrees, and two desserts.  We chose the Camarones al Ajillo (garlic sautéed shrimp) and the Tostones Villacol (crispy green plantains).   The shrimp were in a delicious, thick, buttery sauce and the Tostones were served with guacamole, sour cream, and a delicious homemade Brochetta.

For dinner, we ordered a main course of the Camarones al Ajillo (garlic sautéed shrimp).  They were just too good not to have seconds.  They were served in a generous helping with white rice.


The Filete Frutos del Mar was a grilled Filet of Flounder topped with mixed seafood in a Lobster Sauce, served with mashed potatoes and rice.  The calamari was slightly chewy (though I am not the best judge, I am not one for calamari anyway but fried!).  The sauce was delicious!


The Tres Mosqueteros (Three Musketeers) came with a generous portion of Skirt Steak, Stuffed Clam, and Sauteed Shrimp, served with steamed broccoli, mashed potatoes, and a side of rice.  It was quite the serving of food.  The sauce was plentiful and a delicious lemon butter.   


The best of the evening was the Pollo a Limon.  Similar to a Chicken Francese, a generous portion of chicken and shrimp battered, lightly fried, and served in a lemon sauce.  Served with steamed broccoli, mashed potatoes and a side of rice.  


For dessert the flan was nothing to write home about, but the Mousse de Mango (Mango Mousse) was to die for (and that is a lot to come from me--not a sweets person).  

If you have occasion to visit Villa de Colombia, be sure to.  Though we utilized a GroupOn deal, the menu prices were fair, the portions plentiful, and the food fresh and delicious.  This restaurant is BYOB (though they will make Sangria if you bring the wine!) and note that when tipping, a base 10% tip is automatically added to the bill.


Thursday, July 11, 2013

Hackensack Rotary hosts Adopt-a-Soldier Platoon

Today, the Hackensack Rotary hosted Alan Krutchkoff of Adopt-a-Soldier Platoon, Inc. (AASP) at their weekly luncheon.  Pictured below is Hackensack Rotary's Sergeant-at-Arms Serge Krikorian with Alan Krutchkoff at today's luncheon.


AASP is a recognized 501(c)3 charitable organization dedicated to boosting the morale of our active servicemen, veterans, and their families.  AASP makes several visits a year to deployed troops and provides individualized care packages.  They currently support approximately 150 active units in Afghanistan and Kuwait.  AASP boasts a 95.5% project expense ratio meaning that 95.5 cents of every $1 received goes directly to servicemen and women!

On a personal note, I will be spearheading a project for the Hackensack Elks who will be assembling and distributing care packages through AASP as one of their service projects this year.  If you are interested in assisting whether through a donation of funds or items, or even your time, please feel free to contact me through the "Contact the Author" button at the top of the screen.  


Monday, July 1, 2013

Hackensack City Council holds reorganization

The newly elected City Council held their reorganization this evening at City Hall.  Tonight we congratulate:

Mayor John LaBrosse
Deputy Mayor Kathleen Canestrino
Police Commissioner David Sims
Councilman Leonardo Battaglia
Councilwoman Rose Greenman


This new council brings promises of change for a better tomorrow in Hackensack.  The Citizens for Change ticket promises for open, transparent government; they vow to include citizens, televise council meetings, and make a more streamlined and ready access to public records under the Open Public Records Act.  

Tonight, a small part of the change has come.  Before I tell you what that change is, let me remind you of a May 17, 2012 letter that I wrote to the then City Council seeking change (this letter is the subject of current litigation as Richard Salkin ((FORMER Municipal Prosecutor, FORMER City Attorney, FORMER Special Counsel)) seems to believe that my truthful statements were defamatory, well he thinks that or he thought his "legal scare" would shut me up).  It looks like tonight marks an 80% for my letter, only one more to go!

The City has, I would say lost but it was not much of a loss, City Attorney Joe Zisa and Municipal Prosecutor Richard Salkin.  Joe Zisa has come under fire as his "no settlement policy" continued to rack up the legal meter to the tune of several million dollars.  Richard Salkin, a long time Zisa ally, was raking in $76,000 per year for a two (half) day a week post as Prosecutor in the Hackensack Municipal Court (he continues to collect in excess of $100,000 per year for his post as Board of Education Attorney). 


It appears that Donald Lenner, another subject of my letter, the City Tax Appeals Attorney is on the way out as well.  The City Council put out a request for qualification seeking a new candidate for his post.  

The only question mark that remains is City Manager Stephen LoIacono.  LoIacono was present at this evenings Council Meeting and sat behind a name plate identifying himself as "City Manager."  It is no secret that I have been a vocal critic of LoIacono charging him with being the "Captain of the Sinking Ship."  It is under his guidance and management that the disastrous lawsuits, indictments, wasteful spending, and shame has been brought to our City.  The residents and tax payers only deserve that his desk be packed in the morning.  

The City Council also put out requests for qualifications seeking a new City Attorney, Assistant Municipal Prosecutor, Public Defender, Assistant Public Defender, Labor Attorney, Bond Counsel, and Consulting Municipal Engineer.  Funny, all of these positions are currently filled with generous supporters of Zisa-Hurwitz PAC's.  

A very interesting fact this evening was the appointment of a new broker of record for City Insurance.  The Scoop is currently investigating who may have had their grubbies in that proverbial cookie jar.  Anyone know a Hackensack politico who makes a living as an insurance broker?  I have my creeping suspicions. 

I wish this new council only the best as they face a number of challenges.  I remind them, and all the residents and tax payers of Hackensack, that I will be there to continue to "keep 'em honest."

Photo credit: Freeholder Maura DeNicola


HFD Remembers Fallen Heroes from the Ford Fire- July 1, 1988

The HFD held a ceremony today at Memorial Park to honor the five fallen members of the HFD in the July 1, 1988 Hackensack Ford Fire.  Today the City remembers:

Captain Richard Williams
Lieutenant Richard Reinhagen
Firefighter William Krejsa
Firefighter Leonard Radumski
Firefighter Stephen Ennis

Out of pain comes progress and change.  The Ford Fire brought great change and improvements to fire service.  Firefighters now know that bow-truss roofs are prone to collapse in fire and the state passed laws that placards identifying such roofs be placed near the entranceway of buildings.