Posted by: gmontealegre | April 1, 2019

Linden Art House provides space for local artists

by Gloria Montealegre

Linden, NJ – March 31, 2019 – The Linden Art House opened its doors just three months ago and already artists from nearby towns are gathering periodically to hold exhibits and sell their art.

Cali Smith, a self-described pop artist, said the location is providing visibility and a place to show their art. “I like the fact we are on the main street in Linden, not an obscure location where nobody can find us. It’s hard for artists to find affordable locations and a place where people are receptive.”

“The organizers are  sympathetic and accommodating to the artists. We are all very thankful of the way the treat us and the service they are proving.”

On Saturday, artists from Union, Roselle, Linden and Irvington gathered from 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.

The space is being possible via a partnership between the City of Linden, the Uptown Linden Corporation and the Civic Knights Inc.

The Linden Art House is located at 422 N. Wood Avenue, Linden, NJ

To get more information on upcoming events go to

Posted by: gmontealegre | March 26, 2017

Book Sale at Linden Library

Linden Library – Press Release



The Friends of Linden Library volunteers are busy planning for the next Book Sale. Much work is required in advance in sorting the books, room set up, publicity and baking (yes, refreshments are available). This year the Book Sale will take place from May 10-13. Donations of books, books on tape, CDs, and DVDs are being accepted and can be dropped off at the Linden Library circulation desk (31 E. Henry Street). We do not accept encyclopedias, Readers Digests, textbooks, magazines and outdated instructional manuals and travel guides.
Book Sale Dates & Times:
Wednesday, May 10 – 6:00-8:00 p.m. (Preview for Friends Only. Non-members can join at door)
Thursday, May 11 – 10:00 a.m. 4:00 p.m.
Friday, May 12 – 10:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m.
Saturday, May 13 – 10:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m. (Bag Day, fill a provided bag for $4)

As always, the Friends welcome new members to become involved with the library. If interested, stop by the library and fill out a membership form, e-mail us at or call 908-298-3830, x-30.

Linden Public LibraryLindenLibrary
A library card is the coolest card – September is Library Card Sign-up Month

(Linden, NJ) – Today’s libraries are about more than books. They are creative educational spaces for learners from birth to high school and beyond. September is Library Card Sign-up Month, a time when the Linden Public Library joins with the American Library Association and public libraries nationwide to make sure that every student has the most important school supply of all – a free library card.

Librarians provide important resources to families whose children are at the earliest stages of development, by teaching parents and caregivers the components of early literacy which help children develop the basic tools for school readiness. As of 2010, libraries in the United States offered more than 2.3 million children’s programs, which account for nearly two thirds of all library programming.

Older students can access high-speed Internet, digital tools and the opportunity to work with trained professionals on how to use them. Librarians provide guided training in digital media and grow digital literacy skills. Libraries also provide equity of access to digital tools and media, which has become increasingly important in high-poverty areas where students are less likely to have a computer or internet access in the home.

Libraries are also a training ground for students of all ages to expand their knowledge and explore creative pursuits. The development of makerspaces is just one way libraries are seeking to meet this demand, ranging from low-tech, hands-on engineering opportunities for children and teens using toys and kits to the incorporation of high-tech tools like laser cutters and 3D printers.

Resources at the Linden Public Library are available to anyone who has a library card. Students can turn to the library for materials, programs and knowledgeable library staff that support academic achievement. Students have access to computers (with permission from their parents), free wi-fi, Lego Club, Coding Club in cooperation with the Union County 4-H, movies, and various children’s programs. For preschool age children we offer early literacy and story times to encourage school readiness.

Anyone who registers for a new library card, during the month of September, will be entered into a drawing for a $25 gift Visa card donated by the Friends of Linden Library.

For more information on how to sign up for a library card, visit the Linden Public Library in person or visit the library online at

Posted by: gmontealegre | April 8, 2015

Dick Gregory to speak at Plainfield High School

Black History Celebration
The Housing Authority of Plainfield in collaboration with the Plainfield Board of Education and Superintendent of Schools Anna Belin-Pyles

DickGregry extend a public invitation to the community to attend its Black History Celebration Saturday, April 11, 2015 from 3:00PM to 7:00PM at Plainfield High School. Honorees: Former Commissioners Barbara Johnson & Joanne Hollis, posthumous. Performances by: M.A. Taylor Dance Ensemble, Roland Washington, One Step Beyond with Alexis Morrast & Jasmine Lynn. Keynote Speaker: The Legendary Dick Gregory -Comedian ‐ Actor ‐ Civil Rights Activist ‐ Political Satire ‐ Publisher of Books

Posted by: gmontealegre | April 1, 2015






Friends of the Hispanic Research and Information Center
Announces 2015 Honorees for May 14th Awards Dinner
Theme: “Shaping Our Future: Today’s Young Latino Leaders”

NEWARK – The Friends of the Hispanic Research and Information Center (FoHRIC) is gearing up for the 2015 Awards Dinner & Silent Auction on May 14, 2015, at Mayfair Farms in West Orange.

This event marks the 14th year of the organization’s support for the New Jersey Hispanic Research and Information Center (NJHRIC) at The Newark Public Library. The mission of the NJHRIC is to inspire lifelong learning in the Latino community, and to rescue and preserve the Latino historic legacy in the state.

The 2015 Awards Dinner continues the tradition of holding a signature event to recognize Latino leaders who empower their communities and thus contribute to New Jersey’s society. The 2015 event theme is: Shaping Our Future: Today’s Young Latino Leaders.

The 2015 María De Castro Blake Community Service Award will be presented to: Carlos Medina, Esq., Chairman, Statewide Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of New Jersey; and Grizel Ubarry, President, G. Ubarry Inc. This award was named after the late Puerto Rican activist María De Castro Blake, an outspoken New Jersey Latino community supporter who rose from a garment worker to an assistant dean at Rutgers-Newark.

The Shaping Our Future Leadership Award honorees are: Jonathan Jiménez, Medicine; Bryan López, Engineering & Technology; Yesenia López, Library and Information Science; Samantha Grace Mahabir, Education; and Sara Peña, Political Empowerment.

“The 2015 Awards Dinner is an opportunity to recognize, celebrate, and support NJHRIC’s outstanding work,” said José Vélazquez, Chair of FoHRIC’s Board of Directors. “Additionally, this year’s theme emphasizes the importance of shining the spotlight on young women and men who are shaping our future through their work in our communities, and in a variety of fields including engineering and technology, medicine, politics, education, and library and information science.”

The 2015 event has four levels of sponsorship opportunities: $10,000 Platinum Sponsor, $5,000 Gold Sponsor, $3,000 Silver Sponsor, and $1,500 Bronze Sponsor. Individual tickets are $85. Advertising opportunities are available in the event journal. April 17 is the deadline to purchase tickets, and for sponsorship and advertising opportunities.

The NJHRIC consists of three components: the Sala Hispanoamericana; which makes available books and materials for the Spanish-speaking community; the Hispanic Reference Center, which consists of scholarly research materials that document the historic legacy of New Jersey Latinos; and the Puerto Rican Community Archives.

The NJHRIC’s accomplishments also include the publication of “Cubans in New Jersey: Migrants Tell Their Stories,” by Milagros Castillo-Montoya; and the Latino Oral History website, which includes a collection of first-person accounts of the lives and experiences of men and women from diverse Latino backgrounds who call New Jersey home.

The Friends of the HRIC is a 501(c)(3) Non-Profit Organization and contributions are tax deductible.

For further information, please contact José Vélazquez at 201.563.9878, or or; Visit to download the invitation and forms. FoHRIC is also on Facebook: PRESS RELEASE






Posted by: gmontealegre | March 29, 2015

BILINGUAL kids grow up to be more accepting…


MARCH 27, 2015

A NEW STUDY FROM CONCORDIA HAS been testing whether early second-language education could promote higher acceptance levels of social and physical diversity. And what do you know — oui and si, it looks to be true.

Most young kids believe that human characteristics are innate. That kind of reasoning leads many to think that things such as native language and clothing preference are intrinsic rather than acquired.

But it seems like bilingual kids, especially those who learn another language in the preschool years, are more apt to understand that it’s what one learns, rather than what one is born with, that makes up a person’s psychological attributes. Unlike their one-language-speaking friends, many kids who have been exposed to a second language after age three believe that an individual’s traits arise from experience.

The Concordia study tested a total of 48 monolingual, simultaneous bilingual (learned two languages at once) and sequential bilingual (learned one language and then another) five- and six-year-olds.

These kiddos were told stories about babies born to English parents but who were later adopted by Italians, and also stories about ducks raised by dogs. The kids were then asked if those children would speak English or Italian when they grew up, and whether the babies born to dog parents would quack or bark. The kids were also quizzed on whether the baby ducks raised by dog parents would be feathery or furry.

The study predicted that sequential bilinguals’ own experience of learning language would help them understand that human language is actually learned, but that all children would expect other traits such as animal vocalizations and physical characteristics to be innate. But the results were a little surprising. Sequential bilinguals did demonstrate reduced essentialist beliefs about language — they knew that a baby raised by Italians would speak Italian. But they were also significantly more likely to believe that an animal’s physical traits and vocalizations are also learned through experience — for example, that a duck raised by dogs would bark and run instead of quack and fly.

Basically, monolinguals were more likely to think that everything is innate, while bilinguals were more likely to think that everything is learned.

This study provides an important demonstration that everyday experience in one aspect — language learning — can influence children’s beliefs about a wide range of domains, reducing children’s essentialist biases.

The study has important social implications because adults who hold stronger essentialist beliefs are more likely to endorse stereotypes and prejudiced attitudes; therefore, early second-language education could be used to promote the acceptance of human social and physical diversity.

So, in a nutshell, we’re offering you a good, scientifically backed-up excuse why you absolutely need to hit the road and travel with your kids more. It’s not for you; it’s basically for the benefit of all mankind. You’re welcome.

Posted by: gmontealegre | February 21, 2015

Friends of HRIC to honor Community Leaders at May 14 gala

The Friends of the Hispanic Research & Information Center will honor community leaders with the Maria de Castro Blake Community Service Award at its fundraiser on Thursday, May 14, 2015 at the Mayfair Farms in West Orange.

Carlos A. Medina, Esq., Chair of the Statewide Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of NJ (SHCCNJ) and Grizel Ubarry, Consultant on Urban and Economic Development both will receive the award for their dedication and outstanding service to the community.

CARLOS_MEDINA Carlos A. Medina, Esq., president of Robinson Aerial Surveys, Inc., in Hackettstown leads the largest Hispanic chamber of commerce in New Jersey representing over 68,377 latino businesses that contribute an estimated $10.1B to the economy.  His mission is to assist Latino Business continued growth and to encourage a commitment to diversity at companies throughout New Jersey. In his short term following the death of its founder Daniel Jara in 2013, Mr. Medina has continued the growth of the organization fostering partnerships with major New Jersey entities to bring additional visibility to Latino businesses.

grizelGrizzle Ubarry, CEO and Founder of President G.Ubarry Inc since 1985, is a consultant specializing in Nonprofit Management & Community Development in the areas of affordable housing and successful community revitalization projects.  She also serves as a coach to executives and Board of Directors who are retooling their organizations or experiencing transition.

About Friends of HRIC

The Friends of HRIC is a group of community volunteers founded by Professor Emeritus, Author and Historian Olga Jimenez de Wagenheim, who together with Ingrid Betancourt created the Hispanic Research and Information Center at the Newark Public Library.  The Hispanic Research and Information Center (HRIC) is a resource for the community and scholars seeking to learn about Latinos in NJ. The Center has created an Archive of Puerto Rican History with a current collection of approximately 50 biographical documents of prominent Puerto Rican pioneers of New Jersey.  The archival documents feature the  personal papers, mementos, photos, newspapers articles, and all that tells the history of the featured leader.  The Collections are available for viewing at the Newark Public Library at  5 Washington Street, Newark, NJ.  to contact the FHRIC email

About Maria de Castro Blake

Maria de Castro Blake was an organizer, community advocate and pioneer.  She began her career in New York City and moved to New Jersey to raise her family and to work at Rutgers University.  While there she advocated for free breakfast and medical exams for children.  After her appointment to Assistant Dean in 1965 –  she soon began making the case for Latino students to study at Rutgers.  She served the community until her retirement in 1984.  She moved back to New York City where she volunteered at the New York City Library until her death in 2001.

Posted by: gmontealegre | February 21, 2015

Hamilton – at the Public Theatre in NYC

“Hamilton” one of our founding fathers — his life as an immigrant..

Check out this article from Variety: hamilton

Off Broadway Review: ‘Hamilton’ by Lin-Manuel Miranda

Hamilton review Public Lin-Manuel Miranda
FEBRUARY 17, 2015 | 07:15PM PT
Marilyn Stasio
What musical idiom comes to mind when you think of Alexander Hamilton, a revered Founding Father of this nation, aide de camp to General George Washington during the Revolutionary War, first Secretary of the Treasury, founder of the Federalist Party, architect of our banking system, and designer of our Constitution? In Lin-Manuel Miranda’s brilliantly inventive bio-musical, “Hamilton,” the great man is winningly imagined as an orphaned immigrant, a political rebel, a reckless lover, and a non-stop talker — clearly, a born rapper.

There should be a huge audience for this irresistible show. Although the premise sounds outlandish, it takes about two seconds to surrender to the musical sweep of the sung-through score and to Miranda’s amazing vision of his towering historical subject as an ideological contemporary who reflects the thoughts and speaks the language of a vibrant young generation of immigrant strivers. It’s a wonderfully humanizing view of history.

The rousing opening number, brimming with historical detail and bristling with energy, offers a thrilling insight into the way that Miranda (a force of nature who wrote the book, music and lyrics, and plays the title role) responded to his primary source material, Ron Chernow’s 800-page biography of Hamilton. He saw a ballsy foreigner, the “bastard orphan son of a whore and a Scotsman” as a snooty John Adams branded him, who emigrated to North America in 1772 from his birthplace in the West Indies and discovered a whole colony of rebellious firebrands just like himself.

“My name is Alexander Hamilton,” the brash young refugee declares himself in this high-voltage rap number. “And there’s a million things I haven’t done / But just you wait … just you wait.”

Whoever you are and wherever you came from before you landed in this colonial backwater, everyone has an identity and everyone has a story. To Miranda, it’s not only important who lives and who dies in the founding of the new nation, it also matters who tells your story. The entire ensemble of superbly cast historical figures, from the Marquis de Lafayette (Daveed Diggs) and James Madison (Okieriete Onaodowan) to Aaron Burr (Leslie Odom, Jr.) and George Washington (Christopher Jackson), tell Hamilton’s story.

As he did with Miranda’s ground-breaking first musical, “In the Heights,” helmer Thomas Kail draws the eye to those intimate scenes when words of love or hate are exchanged, while keeping the stage clear for full-scale production numbers that engage the entire ensemble. David Korins’ raw-wood set comes with an efficiently purposed revolve, along with functional ladders and a catwalk on the upper level, to create plenty of floor space for choreographer Andy Blankenbuehler to work his wizardry.

For a singing show, this is very much a dancing show. And for singers, these performers aren’t too proud — or clumsy — to dance. Among other well-constructed production numbers, the Battle of Yorktown is so dynamically staged, it might better be called the Dance-Battle of Yorktown.

But this clean space is far from a blank slate. Paul Tazewell’s carefully built period costumes — tight breeches and fancy fitted jackets for the men, bodice-hugging gowns for the ladies — establish a period-appropriate sense of time and place for the too-short span of Hamilton’s life.

Above all, this is a stage that lends itself to Miranda’s all-embracing style of storytelling. In his vision, “The ten-dollar founding father without a father / Got a lot farther by working a lot harder / By being a lot smarter / By being a self-starter.” Which is a succinct description of all the born-to-succeed immigrants who ever made it to these shores. But Hamilton also had a character flaw — a reckless streak that earned him political enemies and cost him his life in a duel with a more subtle schemer, Thomas Jefferson’s Vice President, Aaron Burr, an irresistibly charming villain in Odom’s charismatic perf.

The musical idiom Miranda has chosen to tell his story is astonishingly fluid. A debate among the quarrelsome members of Washington’s fractious cabinet over Hamilton’s plan to establish a national bank is staged as a fierce rap battle, complete with microphones, take-down insult lyrics, and noisy cheering sections. But there are also melodic love ballads, gentle lullabies, martial airs, R&B power ballads, a hint of dissonant jazz, and sad songs of operatic angst. (And is that a snatch of Gilbert & Sullivan I hear?)

The music is exhilarating, but the lyrics are the big surprise. The sense as well as the sound of the sung dialogue has been purposely suited to each character. George Washington, a stately figure in Jackson’s dignified performance, sings in polished prose. The irrepressible Diggs, inspired casting for the Marquis de Lafayette, lightly, liltingly voices that Frenchman’s mercurial wit. The signature “Yo!” of Miranda’s Hamilton — as in: “Hey, yo, I’m just like my country / I’m young, scrappy and hungry / And I’m not throwing away my shot” — pointedly captures the flamboyant style of the hip-hop artist.

Howell Binkley’s lighting design adjusts the heat level for every character. The warmest tones adorn the three Schuyler sisters: Phillipa Soo’s lovely Eliza, our hero’s loyal, long-suffering wife; Angelica, the older sister who secretly loved him, a character played with unexpected depth by Renee Elise Goldsberry; and Peggy, the young innocent played by Jasmine Cephas Jones, who has another, juicier role as Hamilton’s mistress.

The brightest spotlight shines on King George III, divinely costumed and played with delicious wit by Brian Darcy James, whose forked tongue drips with venom for his wayward subjects. “I’ll love you to my dying days,” he promises. “So don’t throw away this thing we had / Cuz when push comes to shove / I will kill your friends and family / To remind you of my love.”

For a character-centric bio-musical, “Hamilton” really spreads the wealth around. Even secondary characters like the doomed John Laurens (in a touching performance from Anthony Ramos), the South Carolina statesman who was killed before he could organize his dream regiment of freed slaves for the war, has his moment.

But in the end, Miranda’s impassioned narrative of one man’s story becomes the collective narrative of a nation, a nation built by immigrants who occasionally need to be reminded where they came from.

Off Broadway Review: ‘Hamilton’ by Lin-Manuel Miranda
Public Theater/Newman Theater; 299 seats; $120 top. Opened Feb. 17, 2015. Reviewed Feb. 13. Running time: TWO HOURS, 45 MIN.
A Public Theater presentation of a musical in two acts, with book, music and lyrics by Lin-Manuel Miranda; inspired by “Alexander Hamilton” by Ron Chernow.
Directed by Thomas Kail. Choreography by Andy Blankenbuehler. Sets, David Korins; costumes, Paul Tazewell; lighting, Howell Binkley; sound, Nevin Steinberg; hair & wigs, Charles LaPointe; arrangements, Alex Lacamoire & Lin-Manuel Miranda; orchestrations & music direction, Alex Lacamoire; production stage manager James Latus.
Lin-Manuel Miranda, Phillipa Soo, Leslie Odom, Jr., Renee Elise Goldsberry, Christopher Jackson, Daveed Diggs, Okieriete Onaodowan, Anthony Ramos, Jasmine Cephas Jones, Brian D’Arcy James.

Posted by: gmontealegre | January 26, 2015

Free Municipal Parking – just stay off the streets

IMG-20150126-02199From: Union Township, NJ

Snow Emergency
This is Mayor Figueiredo with an important Winter Weather Advisory. Forecasters are predicting a major snow storm to hit our area tonight and tomorrow. Collection for garbage and recycling for Tuesday and Wednesday have been cancelled.

In an effort to expedite the removal of this snowfall from our streets, we will be implementing a “Snow Emergency” beginning today at 5pm January 26th, 2015 and run until all roadways have been sufficiently cleared of the snow.

As a result, all parked vehicles must be removed from township streets. Residents in need of off-street parking may park in any municipal parking lot for free, effective immediately through Thursday January 29th. For a list of municipal parking lots visit the township website and click on the Winter Weather Alert on the left hand side of the home page. Vehicles left parked on the roadway may be subject to ticketing by the Police Department and towed at the owner’s expense.

For additional updates, please tune to Channel 34, the Township of Union website and Facebook page or call the Township Special Event hotline at (908) 851-5001.

Posted by: gmontealegre | December 11, 2014

Today Celebration of Mexico Virgin Patron….

guadalupe-42Dia de la Virgen de Guadalupe – December 12 The Celebration
On this day people from all parts of Mexico make their way to Mexico’s chief religious center at the Basilica of the Virgen of Guadalupe, located in Villa de Guadalupe Hidalgo, a northern neighbourhood of Mexico City.

There, they will celebrate the Nuestra Senora de Guadalupe (Our Lady of Guadalupe) with a mass ceremony and a traditional fair in her honor. The Dia de la Virgen de Guadalupe became an national holiday in 1859.


Today, tens of thousands of people travel to Mexico City to visit the place where the Virgin appeared to the Mexican People. The holiday is a national fiesta that includes traditional music and fun attractions. Pilgrims bring presents to the virgin, usually bouquets of flowers while other visitors will perform dances and song for her. Some pilgrims walk on their knees on the stone street leading to the Basilica, asking for miracles or giving thanks to the virgin for a petition granted.


At the plaza the fiesta starts after the mass ceremony with delicious food, vendors selling crafts and clothes, along with many performances of music and dance. In other parts of Mexico, similar festivities are organized with some unique variations of the celebration. In some places, altars of flowers are built in her honor. Other parts have traditional food prepared like bunuelos, raspados and tortas as well as activities like parades, rodeos, and bullfights.

History of the Celebration

The Story behind this celebration demonstrates how the Catholic faith gained importance in the hearts of the Mexican people. It is a story of miracles and faith which mark a change in the history of Mexico.

The Spaniards, after they conquered Mexico, had in mind the goal of converting the indigenous indians into Catholicism. But the Spaniards encountered many difficulties because the Mexican people had existing strong beliefs in their many gods. It wasn’t until the story of the Virgin of Guadalupe and Juan Diego that this started to change.

Juan Diego was a young indigenous Indian walking toward the Hill of Tepeyac on December 12, 1531 when he was stopped by the appearance of the Virgin Mary. The Virgin Mary appearing to Juan Diego was a young woman with black hair and dark skin which looked more like an indigenous person. She ordered Juan Diego to go to the Bishop and ask him to build a church at the Hill of Tepeyac. Juan Diego then ran to the Bishop to tell him what the Virgin Mary had told him. The Bishop didn’t believe what this young men was telling him and decided to ignore the petition.

The Virgin Mary appeared again in front of Juan Diego and told him to collect flowers from the top of the hill, but because it was December Juan Diego knew that there was not going to be any flowers at the rocky hill. Upon reaching the top of the hill, Juan Diego was surprised to see that it was covered with colorful and beautiful flowers. Juan Diego, as he was asked to, collected the flowers using his overcoat and ran again to see the Bishop.

Juan Diego gave the coat full of flowers to the bishop, and here the bishop discovered the image of Virgin Mary’s picture was miraculously traced on the coat. Seeing both the unseasonal flowers and the image of the Virgin, the Bishop realized Juan Diego had told him the truth and The Basilica of the Virgin of Guadalupe was built on the hill of Tepeyac in Mexico City.

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