HOBOKEN BRIEFS

first_img ×Local charter school, HOLA, celebrated their first class of graduating eighth graders last week (see brief). Local charter school, HOLA, celebrated their first class of graduating eighth graders last week (see brief). Former Council President Campos found guilty of fraud ThursdayJoon H. Kim, the Acting United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, announced in a press release that a federal jury had found former Hoboken Council President and attorney Christopher Campos, age 40,  guilty of bank and wire fraud and conspiracy to commit bank and wire fraud. center_img  Campos was charged in 2016. “Campos and his co-conspirators fraudulently obtained millions of dollars in car loans by using at least 20 straw buyers to acquire more than 200 new automobiles based on false representations that, among other things, the straw buyers would use the cars for their personal use when, in truth and in fact Campos and his co-conspirators obtained the vehicles in order to lease as livery cabs,” sates the release.Campos served on the Hoboken City Council from 2001 to 2007. Also, in 2014 he served as a $35,000-$40,000-per-year full-time aide to former Assemblyman Carmelo Garcia.  Campos is scheduled for sentencing on Sept. 20 and could face up to 30 years in prison.  Campo’s co-defendant, Julio Alvarez, pleaded guilty to bank and wire fraud and conspiracy to commit bank and wire fraud on June 9 and he will be sentenced on Sept. 8. “As a unanimous jury found, Christopher Campos, an attorney and former Hoboken City Council president, defrauded lenders out of millions of dollars,” said Kim. “He recruited straw buyers to obtain loans for cars supposedly for ‘personal use,’ when in fact they made up a fleet of over 200 vehicles Campos and his co-conspirators leased to livery drivers. Campos now awaits sentencing for this massive fraud.” In total, the scheme carried out by Campos (a Hoboken native who now lives in Palisades Park), Alvarez, and others involved at least approximately 20 straw buyers, the purchase of more than approximately 200 new vehicles, and more than $7 million in fraudulently obtained loans from a variety of financial institutions.Mother of Hoboken’s Cake Boss dies, age 69Mary Valastro, mother of TLC’s “Cake Boss” star Buddy Valastro, died Thursday morning after a long battle with ALS at the age of 69. ALS, more commonly known as Lou Gherig’s Disease, is a neurodegenerative disease that weakens muscles, impacts physical function, and is always fatal. There is no cure.According to the ALS Association, a little over 6,000 people in the U.S. are diagnosed with ALS each year and it is estimated that as many as 20,000 Americans have the disease at any given time.Buddy Valastro, whose Hoboken bakery spawned a TV show and franchises, took to social media after her passing.   “It’s with an extremely heavy heart that I must share the news of my mother’s passing. She left for heaven this morning, surrounded by the family. This is a difficult time for all of us and I do ask for your patience and respect while we let this sink in. Her battle with ALS has ended, she is no longer suffering and I hope she’s dancing to ‘I Will Survive” with my dad right now.’ he wrote on Instagram. Buddy Valastro took over Carlo’s Bakery when his father died in 1994 and turned it into a popular tourist attraction and brand opening several more locations, a line of bakeware, cookbooks and of course a reality tv show. His mother, who appeared in the early seasons of the show, retired after her diagnoses in 2012.First class of eighth graders graduates Hoboken Dual Language Charter SchoolHoboken Dual Language Charter School (HoLa) graduated its first class of eighth graders on Monday, June 19, an historic achievement for the school. The students started their journey with HoLa as second graders in 2010 when the school opened.Charter schools are public schools that are founded by community members, teachers, and parents.The school has been the subject of a lawsuit by the Hoboken Board of Education. In 2015, the school board sued the state to prevent HoLa’s expansion to eighth grade, the board majority arguing that the charter schools siphon too much money and resources from the other public schools. So far, the outcome has favored HoLa, as the NJ Department of Education granted the schools’ expansion. The case is currently awaiting a decision by the state’s Appellate Court, which heard oral arguments in May.The ceremony attracted several politicians: Mayor Dawn Zimmer and Freeholder Anthony Romano, both of whom spoke at the ceremony, as well as council members Ruben Ramos, Michael DeFusco, and Ravi Bhalla. More than 50 percent of those are running for mayor.The commencement speaker was Carlos Lejnieks, Hoboken resident and executive director of the Big Brothers Big Sisters of Essex, Hudson and Union counties.The New Jersey Department of Education designated the school a Model World Languages School for two terms in a row—a distinction our school still holds.HoLa is also the first charter school in the state to implement a low-income preference in its lottery, a spokesperson said. Over 400 students apply for 44 kindergarten spots every year.Hudson County CASA is seeking volunteersLearn how to become a CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocate) volunteer and help foster children find safe and permanent homes. The next information session will be at Little City Books at 100 Bloomfield St., Hoboken, on Tuesday, June 27 at 7 p.m.Hudson County Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) is a non-profit organization committed to advocating for the best interests of abused and neglected children. CASA works through trained community volunteers to ensure that needed services and assistance are made available to children while helping to move them toward safe and permanent homes. Hudson County CASA volunteers are everyday people who make a direct impact in foster children’s lives. They are trusted, dedicated adults who seek to improve children’s well-being. CASA volunteers get to know their assigned child and his or her circumstances and provide valuable information to the court. Judges rely on the volunteers’ recommendations to make the best decisions about the children’s futures. For further information, visit www.hudsoncountycasa.orgHoboken Historical Museum hosts talk with Ramapough-Linape Indian Nation representativesThe Hoboken Historical Museum will welcome two representatives, Owl and Two Clouds, from the Ramapough-Lenape Indian Nation to speak about their history and the significance of their Split Rock Sweetwater Prayer Camp in Mahwah, NJ.  The talk will take place at the Museum, 1301 Hudson St., on Sunday, June 25, at 4 p.m., and admission is free. The Ramapough are descendants of a nation of indigenous Lenape people whose ancestral lands included the western banks of the Hudson River where Hoboken now sits, and whose language gave rise to the city’s name, a Dutch interpretation of “Hopoghan Hackingh,” or “Land of the Tobacco Pipe.”In October 2016, they formed the Split Rock Sweetwater Prayer Camp in Mahwah, formed in solidarity with the Standing Rock Indian Reservation out West, to educate the public on the impending crises of the oil and natural gas pipelines that threaten the water supply there.Celebrate the historic game of baseballOn Saturday, June 24, at noon, the 1859 Hoboken Base Ball Club (formerly known as the Hoboken Nine) will commemorate the historic game of June 19, 1846, played by the New York Nine and Knickerbockers that is widely regarded as the birth of modern baseball. The Hoboken squad will play the Chesepeak 9 at Stevens Institute of Technology’s Dobbelaar field and admission is free. The game will be played using the original rules from 171 years ago. Visit https://hobokennine.jimdo.com/PSE&G to begin electric reliability workPublic Service Electric and Gas Co. (PSE&G), will begin construction on new critical underground electrical infrastructure in Hoboken as part of the utility’s Madison Street Substation Project. This work is part of the overall plan for the station to ensure reliable electric service for residents and businesses in the area.Construction is planned to begin on or around Monday, June 26, and will continue through December of 2017.Construction will occur between 8 a.m. and 6 p.m., Monday through Friday, and between 9:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. on Saturdays.  Work preparation may begin at 8:30 a.m. on Saturdays. Road closures will not take place prior to 9 a.m.For questions, call 1-800-901-5035 or visit pseg.com/hoboken.Fundraiser for charity that helps needy with legal servicesOver 150 people attended the Fourth Annual “Justice for All” Fundraiser in Jersey City on June 20 in support of The Waterfront Project, Inc., a nonprofit in Hudson County that provides free legal services to low-income residents.  The signature event featured a tribute to its founder, Monsignor Robert Meyer, Pastor of the Catholic Community of Saints Peter and Paul in Hoboken.The project started in Hoboken.“In just the last 12 months, The Waterfront Project grew from a part-time staff of two to a full-time staff of five, serving close to 200 residents a month and more than doubling its operating and fundraising budgets,” stated Board President Isabel Chou.  She said the growth “really speaks to an underserved need in Hudson County.”Monsignor Meyer developed the idea of a free legal clinic when he observed the development of high-rises, brownstones and condos along the waterfront, in stark contrast with a growing homeless population.Local Girl Scout troop urges residents to help save the beesHoboken Girl Scout Troop 12032 educated community members about the importance of bees and how to help sustain the bee population at Rummage and Ruffage last Saturday. Part of their outreach efforts as they work to earn their Girl Scout Bronze Award, the girls researched the issue, wrote informational flyers, and produced and distributed seed bombs.Seed bombs are hardy, pebble-sized nuggets of dirt, clay and organic seeds for local flowers that will attract bees and promote pollination.On Saturday the girls also had children’s activities including seed planting.“The bee population has been in decline in recent years. If this continues unchecked, crops including coffee and many fruits and vegetables would be negatively impacted,” according to the release.last_img

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