Wednesday, March 26, 2014

YMCA of Greater Bergen County to host Healthy Kids Day®

On Saturday, April 12th, the YMCA of Greater Bergen County (360 Main Street, Hackensack) is holding a free community event to inspire more kids to keep their minds and bodies active. YMCA’s Healthy Kids Day® , the Y’s national initiative to improve families’ health and well-being, features games, healthy eating, demonstrations, arts and crafts and more to motivate and teach families how to develop a healthy routine at home.  

YMCA’s Healthy Kids Day, celebrated at nearly 1,600 Ys across the country, aims to get more kids moving and learning, so they can keep up the habit all summer long – a critical out-of-school time for kids’ health. Research shows that without access to out-of-school physical and learning activities, kids fall behind academically. Kids also gain weight twice as fast during summer than the school year.

In celebration of YMCA’s Healthy Kids Day, the Y offers the following tips to help families develop healthy habits:

·         High Five the Fruits and Veggies – Make sure kids get at least five servings a day, the minimum number nutritionists recommend to maintain healthy childhood development.
·         Foster an Early and Onging Passion for Books – Read to and with your kids. Help children read at every age and every stage of their development.
·         Team Up for Athletic Events – Set a family goal of great health by teaming up for community or charity events like races, walks, fun runs. Bike rides, etc.
·         Volunteer Together – Find a cause that matters to the kids. Open their eyes to a world beyond themselves and the rich rewards that come from making a difference.
·         Lead By Example – Be a good role model – kids can be influenced by seeing how hard their parents work at home or on the job, and how rewarding that experience is.

The YMCA of Greater Bergen County’s Healthy Kids Day takes place at 360 Main street, Hackensack NJ. from 10:00am to 1:00pm and features fun, active play and educational activities as well as an opportunity for the YMCA to recognize key leaders in the community. 

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Hackensack Elks take forty children from youth home to the circus

Thanks to the Elks National Foundation (ENF), funds are available for Elks to invest back into and build stronger communities.  With the support of ENF, the Hackensack Elks took forty children from the Youth Consultation Services (YCS) of Bergen County, which is located in Hackensack, to the circus.

The children of the YCS group home, located in Hackensack, were able to enjoy an afternoon filled with fun and excitement.  The Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey show "Legends" featured performances with elephants, lions, tigers, and horses.  There were also performances by the trapeze artists the Tuniziani Troupe, the China National Acrobatic Troupe,  the Torres Family performing motorcycle stunts, and Alexander Lacey the lion and tiger tamer.

YCS, a 501(C)3 organization, was founded in 1918 to help the women and children left alone and/or abandoned by the aftermath of World War I.  Programs and services grew from this beginning and today YCS maintains programs throughout the state for children with special needs, from birth to 25 years of age.  Programs include: educational, psycho-therapeutic and psychiatric services in home and in our residential facilities, crisis intervention, foster care and treatment home placements, as well as our newest in home and residential programs for youth with intellectual and developmental disabilities.  If you, your company, or organization would like to make a donation to or get involved with the YCS Foundation you can contact Kathy Mongon at

The Elks is a national service organization with a 140+ year history and nearly one million members in 2,000 lodges around the country.  Local lodges invests in their communities through programs that help children grow up healthy and drug-free, by undertaking projects that address unmet needs, and by honoring the service and sacrifice of our veterans.  The Order of Elks spends more than $80,000,000 per year in charitable programs.  If you are interested in becoming an Elk you can contact the Hackensack Lodge at 201-487-0658.

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Hackensack Rotary holding raffle for High School Scholarship Fund

The Hackensack Rotary Club is holding their annual raffle to benefit the High School Scholarship Fund.  Hackensack Rotary scholarships are made available to graduating seniors who are residents of Hackensack.  Scholarships are also presented to children of Hackensack firefighters from a special fund created after the tragic loss of five Hackensack firefighters in the Ford Dealership fire on July 1, 1988. Last year, the Scholarship Fund awarded $20,000 in scholarships to local High School seniors.

Raffle tickets are $10 and can be purchased from any Hackensack Rotarian, or by emailing  Each raffle ticket has six chances to win.  Drawings to win $200 will be held on April 24, May 8, May 15, May 22, and June 12.  On June 19th, a $1,000 winner will be drawn.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Join HFD as they make a difference for those battling Muscular Dystrophy

The Hackensack Firefighters welcome you to support their efforts as they participate in the Annual MDA Muscle Walk on Sunday, March 23, 2014 at the Prudential Center in Newark.

The Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA) is the world’s leading nonprofit health agency dedicated to finding treatments and cures for muscular dystrophy, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and other neuromuscular diseases. We do so by funding worldwide research; by providing comprehensive health care services and support to MDA families nationwide; and by rallying communities to fight back through advocacy, fundraising and local engagement. It’s special work powered by special people who give generously. Visit and follow us at and @MDAnews.

You can support the team at:

SCOOP SHOUT OUT: The volunteer doctors providing free primary and preventative care to those in need

More than 65 volunteers will be honored by Bergen Volunteer Medical Initiative (BVMI) at its annual Volunteer Recognition Reception on Tuesday, April 8, 6 pm. TD Bank is hosting the Volunteer Reception and it will take place at TD Bank, 23-40 Maple Ave, Fair Lawn, NJ. The volunteers consist of talented doctors, nurses, nurse practitioners, social workers and lay people.

Dr. Sal Baldino and Dr. Noel Friedland are two of the 65 volunteers who will be honored at BVMI's Volunteer Recognition Reception.  They volunteer on a regular basis at BVMI's Healthcare Center. 

BVMI’s Volunteer Recognition Reception is part of National Volunteer Week, April 6-12, 2014, which is about inspiring, recognizing and encouraging people to seek out imaginative ways to engage in their communities. “We couldn’t open our doors without our volunteers,” remarked Dr. Arthur R. DeSimone, BVMI’s Medical Director. “It is awe-inspiring the number of good people who are willing to put in the time and energy to help our patients with absolutely no expectation of reward.”

The mission of BVMI, a 501(c)(3) organization, is to provide free primary and preventive medical care and, where possible, referrals to specialty care for working, low-income Bergen County residents who have no health insurance. Patients are seen by volunteer physicians, nurse practitioners and registered nurses.

BVMI is completely dependent on contributed income from individuals, businesses, community groups and foundations. BVMI Healthcare Center, a state-licensed ambulatory care facility, is located at 241 Moore Street, Hackensack, NJ; 201.342.2478,

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

City of Hackensack facing OPRA lawsuit

On March 7, 2014 a lawsuit against the City of Hackensack was filed by Donald Lenner, Esq. in Superior Court on behalf of Jason Nunnermacker.  According to the lawsuit, Nunnermacker made an Open Public Records Act request on January 17, 2014 seeking copies of legal bills submitted to the City of Hackensack by the firm McElroy, Deutsch, Mulvaney, and Carpenter, LLP.  On January 21, 2014 the City Clerk, Deborah Karlsson, advised Nunnermacker that there would be a $450 special service charge in fulfilling this request.  

After being asked for clarification, Thomas Scrivo (the City Attorney) advised Nunnermacker that over 300 pages of billing invoices would need to be reviewed for privileged and confidential information.  The special service charge for doing so would be $450.

Donald F. Burke, Esq., a lawyer who practices in the area of freedom of speech and governmental transparency, has been in ongoing discussion with the City Attorney regarding similar charges quoted to Steven Gelber (myself).  On January 14, 2014, I requested copies of legal bills and was quoted a special service charge of $900.

In an interview for this article, Burke said: "Bills for legal work provided to a governmental entity are by their nature records over which there should be no expectation of confidentiality."  He went on that, "records of billing should be expected to be scrutinized by the public who ultimately pay the bills."

In discussion with the City Attorney, it was represented to Burke (on February 20, 2014) that in an effort to avoid litigation, the bills would be provided, without charge (the bills have yet to be provided).

With regard to the practice of charging to redact confidential information from legal bills, Burke stated: "Injecting allegedly confidential communications into the bills and seeking a fee to review and redact such material effectively thwarts well-settled interests in governmental transparency." To this end, Burke has requested an enforceable agreement with the City of Hackensack to insure future bills for legal services rendered will be prepared with the understanding that they will be subject to public disclosure.  He went on that if Hackensack does not agree to such an enforceable contract, he believes the public interest can be defended by way of injunctive relief seeking same.

In a statement to The Hackensack Scoop, Nunnermacker said: "It is incredulous that the City's administration is blocking residents' access to public information by levying unwarranted and excessive fees to gain such information."  Nunnermacker, who ran against the current council cites their campaign literature.   Nunnermacker remembers that "CFC campaigned vigorously on 1) making government more transparent and accessible and 2) reducing attorney's fees."  He went on that "the refusal to provide public documents has not only invited, but demanded, legal action which the City is now compelled to spend attorney's fees to defend. It is clear that the attorney's fees will cost much more than the $450.00 charge it seeks to impose. As a result, CFC has managed to break two campaign promises at the same time."

If this matter is not settled, it will be heard before Judge Doyne on April 17, 2014 at 11:00 am.