Vaccine for seniors in Hoboken; Riverkeeper gives scholarship; College students earn honors | Journal Entries

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Hoboken has pre-registration for seniors for vaccine

Hoboken launched a pre-registration process for seniors in Hoboken to register for a COVID-19 vaccine appointment. All Hoboken seniors 65 years of age can register with the City of Hoboken at Seniors are eligible to receive the vaccine once the State of New Jersey moves into the next 1B and 1C phases of vaccinations. The registration process will allow the City of Hoboken and medical partners, including Riverside Medical Group and Hoboken University Medical Center, to schedule vaccine appointments to seniors without a substantial delay.

All friends and family of Hoboken seniors can fill out the pre-registration form if a senior cannot complete the form or does not have internet access. The form includes required fields of first name, last name, age, address and phone number.

On Wednesday, Jan. 13, seniors ages 75 and up became eligible to call the Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) hotline at 201-420-5621, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on weekdays, to pre-register if internet access is unavailable. Seniors can also leave a voicemail with CERT at that phone number by providing first name, last name, age, address and phone number to pre-register.

The Hoboken Office of Emergency Management, Hoboken Health Department and CERT will conduct door-to-door pre-registrations for seniors as well in the coming weeks. The City of Hoboken has been working with Riverside Medical Group and Hoboken University Medical Center (HUMC) to administer the COVID-19 vaccine to healthcare workers, law enforcement and first responders in the 1A phase. Currently, Riverside and HUMC are the two medical providers that have received shipments COVID-19 vaccines in the City of Hoboken.

Riverkeeper award program back on track

Hackensack Riverkeeper is accepting applications for the 2021 Utzinger-Vellekamp Scholarship. Established in 2001 as the Hackensack Riverkeeper Environmental Scholarship, the program was renamed in 2003 to honor the late Ronald Vellekamp, who died the previous year. In addition to serving on the Riverkeeper board, Vellekamp was a science teacher, Scout leader, and part-time park ranger. From 2003 through 2019, the Ron Vellekamp Environmental Scholarship awarded a total of $17,000 to some of the most talented and environmentally literate high school graduates in Bergen, Hudson and Rockland counties.

Margaret Utzinger passed away in August 2018, after devoting over a quarter-century to the Hackensack River, first as co-founder of the Hackensack River Coalition in the late 1980s, then as founding Trustee of Hackensack Riverkeeper in 1997. During her 21 years on the board, she served two terms as president and remained a trustee throughout. In addition to pandemic-related issues, Hackensack Riverkeeper lost its offices in a four-alarm fire on May 16, 2020.

Teachers and guidance counselors at 66 high schools in Bergen, Hudson and Rockland Counties are eligible to nominate a student for the award and copies of the scholarship criteria have been sent to the guidance departments at each. Applications must be postmarked no later than Earth Day, April 22.

All applicants must live and/or attend school within the 210-square mile Hackensack River Watershed. A list of watershed municipalities was included with the criteria sent to each school and is also available at In regards to students residing in dual-watershed communities like Paramus, nominators are cautioned to ensure a student’s eligibility before submitting an application.

A panel of Hackensack Riverkeeper trustees and staffers
led by Sheehan and Program Director Captain Hugh Carola will review each application and consider the students’ academic achievements, environmental extracurricular activities and future plans. The winner of the $1,000 unrestricted award will be announced by June 1. Additional information and full scholarship application criteria are available by emailing Carola at; or by calling him directly at 201-403-1992.

Those without a graduating senior in the family but who support their local students can participate in the program by making a targeted donation to the scholarship fund. Donations to the Utzinger-Vellekamp Environmental Scholarship are tax deductible and can be made by check or online. All donations will support the fund.

Students receive academic honors

Anthony Dantzler and Jonathan Dale of Jersey City have been admitted into Culver-Stockton College’s incoming class for the fall 2021 semester and received academic scholarships:

Vincent Franco Pikunic of Union City has been named to the Fall 2020 Dean’s List at Kutztown University.

Named to The University of Scranton’s Dean’s List for the 2020 fall semester were: Claire J. Carrera and Taysha V. Campana of North Bergen, Yara Elsaadany of Secaucus, Andrew J. Ferrier of Bayonne, and David J. Vergaray Ramirez of Harrison.

David Janesian and Faiza Khania, both of Jersey City, were named to the Honor’s List at Mercy College of Ohio.

Dimarco Veras of Jersey City was named to the Dean’s List at Culver-Stockton College.

Claire Miller of Jersey City has been placed on the Deans’ Commendation List at Gettysburg College for outstanding academic achievement in the Spring 2020 semester.

Priscilla Collazo of Jersey City has been named to Southern New Hampshire University’s fall 2020 Dean’s List.

Carlos Pepin of Jersey City has been named to the Dean’s List at East Stroudsburg University of Pennsylvania (ESU) for the Fall 2020 semester.

Residents earn award from WGU

The following Hudson County residents have earned an Award of Excellence at Western Governors University:

Cheryl Howard of Bayonne, Award of Excellence, College of Health Professions; Mara Yuson of Bayonne, Award of Excellence, College of Business; Antonio Ugarte of Jersey City, Award of Excellence, College of Business; Deonna Thomas of Jersey City, Award of Excellence, College of Information Technology; Deonna Thomas of Jersey City, Award of Excellence, College of Information Technology; and Bachiri Mounir of Union City, Award of Excellence, College of Business.

Bayonne superintendent talks to criminal justice class

Bayonne’s Superintendent of Schools John Niesz, gave a presentation to Kelly Mauri’s criminal justice classes on Jan. 15. Niesz discussed his experiences as a police officer in Freehold as well as his time with Homeland Security. The Superintendent’s talk was the second time a guest lecturer visited these classes. On Friday, Jan. 29, attorney and criminal justice reformer, Brittany K. Barnett, will visit Mauri’s class to discuss her memoir, “A Knock At Midnight: A Story of Hope, Justice, and Freedom.” Criminal Justice is a Social Studies elective open to students in Grades 11 and 12 at Bayonne High School.


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