Tall ships set sail on Hudson to kick off Fleet Week New York, OpSail 2012
For a moment, the Hudson River looked like a scene from “Pirates of the Caribbean” as 17 tall ships from around the world sailed past the New Jersey and Manhattan waterfronts, followed by 10 warships, both domestic and foreign. Military aircraft soared overhead spewing streams of red, white, and blue as hundreds of children and adults swarmed the piers to catch a glimpse of history.
The ships entered the harbor on Wednesday at around 9 a.m., traveled north up the Hudson, and made their way south before docking, kicking off OpSail 2012 and Fleet Week. Docking locations and tour times for the modern military vessels and historic tall ships visiting New York are available at www.nywaterway.com/FleetWeek2012.aspx.
The New York Waterway ferry and bus network will provide free commuter service for all active duty military personnel in uniform from any nation and American veterans May 23 through 30. Servicemen and women must present identification showing their active duty or veteran status to ride free on ferries departing from New Jersey terminals in Edgewater, Port Imperial and Lincoln Harbor in Weehawken, and 14th Street in Hoboken.
For schedules, prices and additional information please call (800) 533-3779, or visit http://www.nywaterway.com or www.facebook.com/nywaterway.
Dog and good Samaritan rescued from 100-foot cliff
An unleashed Yorkshire terrier fell 25 ft. onto a rock outcropping after slipping through the fence that protects the public from the Palisades cliffs near Hamilton Park in Weehawken at around 11 p.m. on May 22, North Hudson Regional Fire Director Jeff Welz said Thursday.
When the 22-year-old woman who had been walking the terrier screamed, 19-year-old Luis Lopez climbed over the fence to try and rescue the dog. Though his intentions were good, he ended up becoming stranded on the cliff himself.
North Hudson firefighters arrived at the scene and used a rope-and-ladder rescue method to retrieve Lopez and the dog. Neither sustained any serious injuries, Welz said.
“Although the outcome was really good, the man took a real risk because the dog was so far down,” he added. “A few feet to the right or left would have led to a 100-ft. plummet straight down.”
Welz added that the fire department did a great job of getting them back up, but attempting a rescue like that as a citizen is something the department does not recommend. If it happens, he said, wait for emergency personnel with the proper and safe equipment to arrive.
Weehawken to hold Memorial Day Parade
The Township of Weehawken will honor veterans with a Memorial Day Parade on Monday, May 28 at 9 a.m. Parade participants will include a police motorcycle escort, the Marines Jr. ROTC, the high school marching band, the N.J. Army National Guard 113th Infantry, and Mayor Richard Turner and the Township Council.
Starting at the assembly point of Highpoint and Gregory avenues, the parade will proceed west on Highpoint to Hudson Avenue, north on Hudson Avenue to Maple Street, east on Maple Street to Ridgely Place, and continue onto Pleasant Avenue to Park Avenue. They will stop after proceeding east on 49th Street to Boulevard East, travel south and finish at Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Monument on Boulevard East.
In case of rain, the program and exercises will be held at Weehawken High School Gym located at Liberty Place beginning at 11 a.m. The town requests residents display their American flags.
Swaminarayan Temple to celebrate 25th anniversary
The Shree Swaminarayan Temple, located at 46 Louisa Place, will be commemorating their 25th anniversary with a week-long celebration beginning May 28. A parade will take place on June 2, beginning in West New York on 60th Street and Boulevard East at 2 p.m., travel south and end at the temple.
Weehawken Weekenders to hold trips in summer, fall
The Weehawken Weekenders will take a trip to the Platzl Brauhaus in Ponoma, N.Y., on Wednesday, June 20, for a day of fun, food, and entertainment. The day includes breakfast and lunch, followed by dinner at 4 p.m. There will be music, dancing, and bingo, and there is a pool available for anyone who wishes to use it. The bus departs from the Weehawken Pathmark at 9 a.m. Tickets cost $70.
On July 11, they will see “The Real Husbands of New Jersey” at the Royal Manor in Garfield for $45 which includes lunch.
On July 18, Mayor Turner and the Township Council along with the Hudson County Office on Aging invites Weehawken seniors on a Hudson County boat ride aboard the “Spirit of New Jersey.”
On Aug. 12, they will visit Magnanini’s Winery in Wallkill, N.Y. for a wine tasting, dinner, and dancing for $75.
On Oct. 3, they will attend “Octoberfest” at the Royal Manor in Garfield for $45.
On Oct. 20, they will visit the Nordic Lodge with all you can eat Lobster and more in Charlestown, R.I. and proceed to Mohegan Sun Casino for $125.
The Weekenders are also planning an eight-night Canadian and New England cruise on the Royal Caribbean’s Explorer of the Seas, departing from Bayonne on Aug. 31, 2013 and sailing through Sept. 8.
All trips include transportation and gratuities. Call the Weekenders office at (201) 319-6059 for more information or to make a reservation.
County to commemorate Memorial Day May 24
Hudson County’s annual observance of Memorial Day will take place May 24 at 11 a.m. at the county veterans’ plot in Holy Name Cemetery, 823 West Side Ave., Jersey City. Attendees will include veterans’ organizations and their color guards from around the county; and the participation of ROTC students from both McNair Academy and Lincoln High Schools.
A special tribute will be paid to Army Specialist Rafael A. Nieves Jr., who was killed recently while in action in the Paktika Province of Afghanistan. The 22-year-old army specialist, who grew up in Jersey City and Bayonne, was just two weeks short of completing his first tour of duty and returning home to his wife and two children, when his patrol came under attack. He served as a member of the Lincoln High School ROTC Corps of Cadets and took part in past Hudson County Memorial Day Observances.
Hudson County Surrogate Donald DeLeo will serve as the program’s Master of Ceremonies. It is sponsored by County Executive Tom DeGise and the Board of Chosen Freeholders.
Prieto Meadowlands preservation bill released by Assembly panel
Legislation that Assembly Budget Chairman Vincent Prieto has sponsored to promote preservation in the Meadowlands and Hackensack River regions was released Monday by an Assembly committee. The bill (A-2504) establishes the NJ Meadowlands Conservation Fund and provides for a designation on the state gross income tax return to permit taxpayers to make voluntary contributions to help support the work of the Meadowlands Conservation Trust.
“The Meadowlands Conservation Trust benefits land preservation in the Hackensack River and Meadowlands regions,” said Prieto (D-Hudson/Bergen). “The trust acquires land to permanently preserve wetlands, waterways and open space, offering flood protection, clean water, wildlife habitat and passive recreations. These are all vital to our quality of life, and I’m confident many New Jerseyans will lend a helping hand once we make it easier to do so.”
The bill was released by the Assembly Appropriations Committee and can now be considered by the full Assembly.
NJ Festival of Ballooning to hold statewide contest
PNC Bank and the Quick Chek N.J. Festival of Ballooning invite students in grades two through 12 to take part in the ninth annual PNC Bank American Patriot Essay Contest by writing a short essay on the topic “What the American Flag Means to Me.”
The largest summertime hot air balloon and music festival in North America will celebrate its 30th anniversary July 27 through 29 at Solberg Airport in Readington and will feature the PNC Bank American Flag balloon: the largest free-flying flag in the world.
This year’s Grand Prize winner will receive a visit to his or her school by a 75-foot-tall hot air balloon in June and a special VIP package at this year’s festival: a hot air balloon ride for two, four Blue Sky Club VIP tickets, and the opportunity to meet one of this year’s concert headliners, which have included the Jonas Brothers and Disney stars Demi Lovato and Emily Osment in the past.
Second and third place prizes will include festival admission and merchandise.
The winning student’s immediate classmates will each receive one complimentary general admission ticket to the festival and the winning student’s teacher and school principal will each receive two Blue Sky Club VIP tickets.
Every teacher in the state who submits a group of 15 essays or more on behalf of their students will receive two free general admission tickets to the festival regardless of whether one of their students submits the winning essay.
The essays should be 100 words or less. They will be judged by a panel of representatives from PNC Bank and the balloon festival. Winning essays will be selected based on creativity, poignancy and clarity with consideration given to the grade level of the contestant. Contestants are not required to be U.S. citizens.
Entries should include the student’s name, home or school address, home or school telephone number, grade, age, school name and the name of their teacher.
Entries should be sent by May 1 to Essay Judges, Quick Chek New Jersey Festival of Ballooning, 363 Rte. 46 West, Suite 200, Fairfield, N.J., 07004. Students can also enter the contest through the festival web site at www.balloonfestival.com or by emailing their essays to firstname.lastname@example.org.