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Hispanic Heritage Celebration

Biblioteca Criolla closed it celebrations for Hispanic Heritage with a “big bang” on Saturday, October 11th.  It was great to see many enthusiastic people coming together for this occasion. The program was well attended by the Latino community of Jersey City. In attendance there were approximately 60-plus people, among them 20 teenagers.

The program commenced with welcoming remarks from Criolla Department Head Patricia Vega, and her introducing everyone to the treasures in Biblioteca Criolla, such as services and resources. Also mentioned were the contributions and impact Latinos have made in this great nation through our strong commitment to family, faith, hard work and service.

The commemorative program consisted of guest speaker Honorable Amilkar Velez-Lopez, retired municipal judge in Newark, N.J., who was a former judge of the Central Judicial Processing Court in Essex County (Court CJP) and has resided in the Garden State for over 40 years. He

talked to the audience about the importance knowing our heritage and not forgetting where we come from. This native of Puerto Rico, whose family moved to New York in 1959 for better opportunities, gave the audience an inside look at his personal and professional experiences, and family life. He mentioned the many resources (like the libraries) available to all, urged the youth of the importance of being community-minded individuals, and to volunteer. He spoke from the heart and Criolla’s audience responded to his very easy demeanor. He ended with the philosophy that his parents taught him: “!!EL QUE PERSEVERA—TRIUNFA!!  “DIOS ME LO BENDIGA”.  (THE ONE THAT PERSEVERES, TRIUMPHS!! And he always greets and says goodbye with a, “GOD BLESS YOU.”) There was a Q & A session and many in the audience took the opportunity to ask questions.

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No one wants to admit it, but, chances are, you could take better care of yourself.

With the Introduction to Wellness program, hosted by the Federal Documents Department in the Main Library on October 2, 2014, the 11 people in the audience soaked up the information presented by Pinky Nawani, PT, DPT, OCS, of the Kessler Rehabilitation Center in Jersey City (2854 Kennedy Blvd. 07306 / 201-792-2582 / www.kessler-pt.com).

Asking, ‘would you change one thing tomorrow if…?’ Kessler’s Doctor of Physical Therapy opened her presentation, and launched into a variety of statistics: * Approximately half of the premature deaths in the U.S. are caused by lifestyle concerns (lack of exercise / poor eating habits / smoking / alcohol / stress) * Obesity is at epidemic levels – 127 million Americans (64.5% of the adult population are obese) * Being overweight or obese increases the risk factors for 15 different diseases (including, Type II Diabetes / High blood pressure / High cholesterol / Heart disease / Congestive heart failure / Strokes) * Women vs. Men – Women now eat 22% more calories than they did 30 years ago & Men are eating 7% more * SAD Exercise FACTS – 25% of all trips in the U.S. are less than one mile & 75% of those are made by car (U.S. Dept. of Transportation), 27% of the population admit not to exercising, 7 out of 10 adults get too little & 4 out of 10 get none!



Special Gala Reception at Main Library

Special Gala Reception at Main Library in Jersey City Kicked Off Major Fundraising Appeal for Major Renovations

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Over 100 people attended the special reception, Wine, Renovations & Song, sponsored by the Jersey City Free Public Library Foundation, Inc., held on Tuesday evening, June 24, at the Main Library in Jersey City. The reception took place on all four floors, with the Library’s architect, Helena Ruman, on hand to explain the individual renovation projects that are planned throughout the building.

Focusing on a fundraising target of $3 million, Library Director Priscilla Gardner began the reception with acknowledging the many elected and appointed officials that have shown previous support, which has included capital improvement funding from the City of Jersey City and grant funding from the Hudson County Open Space Trust Fund for the replacement of energy-inefficient and historically incorrect aluminum windows with ones made of wood that are energy-efficient and historically correct.

In attendance: Hudson County Freeholder Bill O’Dea (District 2); representing Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop – Deputy Mayor Vivian Brady-Phillips and Chief of Staff Muhammed Akil; Council President Rolando R. Lavarro Jr.; Councilwoman At Large Joyce Watterman; Ward C Councilman Richard Boggiano; Ward F Councilwoman Diane Coleman; and Superintendent of Jersey City Public Schools Dr. Marcia V. Lyles. Sending regrets, but wanting to be there: NJ State Senator Sandra B. Cunningham (D-31st LD), Councilman At Large Daniel Rivera, Ward B Councilman Khemraj “Chico” Ramchal, and Ward D Councilman Michael Yun. Missing: Ward E Councilwoman Candice Osborne confirmed, yet didn’t arrive, and Ward A Councilman Frank Gajewski did not respond at all.

Read more: Special Gala Reception at Main Library


Recreation & Library in Jersey City Joined Forces to Celebrate National Library Week 2014 by Welcoming Sugar Ray Robinson II

Recreation & Library in Jersey City

Joined Forces to Celebrate National Library Week 2014

by Welcoming Sugar Ray Robinson II

A motivational speaker, Sugar Ray II spoke to the boys & girls in the JC Youth Boxing Program


The Jersey City Free Public Library ushered in National Library Week (April 13-19) a little bit early this year – on Thursday, April 10, to be exact.

That’s when the Youth Boxing Program of the Jersey City Department of Recreation joined the Library in hosting a special guest speaker at one of their scheduled boxing sessions – none other than Ray Robinson II, son of the world-renowned prizefighter, Sugar Ray Robinson.

Ray II, a father of five grown children, has been a motivational speaker since he was a child of 10, when drafted by his mother Edna Mae to pinch hit for his father, when Sugar Ray wasn’t able to address a gathering at a local church in Harlem. Over the years, his message has broadened and deepened, on the many ways to stay sharp, and how to value your contributions as a human being, in spite of what life throws in your path. Upon seeing the Jersey City Recreation newsletter on Jersey City Mayor Fulop’s launching of the boxing program for girls and boys, aged eight to 18, Sugar Ray II knew he wanted to talk to them.

Read more: Recreation & Library in Jersey City Joined Forces to Celebrate National Library Week 2014 by Welcoming Sugar Ray Robinson II


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