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Hackensack Girl Scouts Go for the Gold Promoting Sisterhood

Sylvia Brown (Hackensack), Safiya Mannan (Hackensack), Halle Palmer (Teaneck), and Zuri Thorn (Maywood), recently shared their sisterhood joy with younger Scouts, according to Jennylyn Brown.Photo Credit: Courtesy of Jennylyn BrownSylvia Brown (Hackensack), Safiya Mannan (Hackensack), Halle Palmer (Teaneck), and Zuri Thorn (Maywood), recently shared their sisterhood joy with younger Scouts, according to Jennylyn Brown.Photo Credit: Courtesy of Jennylyn BrownSylvia Brown (Hackensa...

Sylvia Brown (Hackensack), Safiya Mannan (Hackensack), Halle Palmer (Teaneck), and Zuri Thorn (Maywood), recently shared their sisterhood joy with younger Scouts, according to Jennylyn Brown.

Photo Credit: Courtesy of Jennylyn Brown

Sylvia Brown (Hackensack), Safiya Mannan (Hackensack), Halle Palmer (Teaneck), and Zuri Thorn (Maywood), recently shared their sisterhood joy with younger Scouts, according to Jennylyn Brown.Photo Credit: Courtesy of Jennylyn Brown

Sylvia Brown (Hackensack), Safiya Mannan (Hackensack), Halle Palmer (Teaneck), and Zuri Thorn (Maywood), recently shared their sisterhood joy with younger Scouts, according to Jennylyn Brown.Photo Credit: Courtesy of Jennylyn Brown

Sylvia Brown (Hackensack), Safiya Mannan (Hackensack), Halle Palmer (Teaneck), and Zuri Thorn (Maywood), recently shared their sisterhood joy with younger Scouts, according to Jennylyn Brown.Photo Credit: Courtesy of Jennylyn Brown

PublishedApril 30, 2024 at 10:44 AM

Last UpdatedApril 30, 2024 at 10:44 AM

HACKENSACK, NJ - Four senior Girl Scouts from Hackensack and surrounding communities are making it their mission to promote sisterhood on their way to their Gold Award Project, the concluding project for senior Girl Scouts.

Sylvia Brown (Hackensack), Safiya Mannan (Hackensack), Halle Palmer (Teaneck), and Zuri Thorn (Maywood), recently shared their sisterhood joy with younger Scouts, according to Jennylyn Brown, one of their troop leaders.

As part of their Mission Sisterhood Journey on the way to their Gold Award Project, the young ladies undertook the Take Action Project by visiting five younger Brownies and Junior troops to present the meaning of Sisterhood, why it is essential, and how to practice it, Brown said.

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They presented to 50 younger Girl Scouts at their troop meetings and had them participate in activity stations, including handprints on canvas, Sisterhood word art, and recording a video on what Sisterhood means to them.

After completing the presentations to the troop, the Gold Award Candidates hosted a Sisterhood Fair at the Maywood Senior Center on Saturday, April 27, Brown said. All the troops they visited were invited to come together for an afternoon of fun and activities. With 25 girls in attendance, they shared the video they produced from the individual recording, a slide show of photographs from the meetings, and an exhibit of the word art.

They played games, such as Sisterhood Bingo, 'pin the patch on the vest', musical chairs, and freeze dance. The hand-printed canvas was used as a photo backdrop.

"All the Scouts could see what the individual troops thought of Sisterhood," Brown said.

"It was a successful Take Action Project; everyone had fun and acquired new skills. The Girl Scout senior learned skills from planning and project management, working with younger groups, presenting and public speaking, time management, and prioritization of tasks," she said.

"The delegation of duties and asking for help and support from your extended community were also important lessons learned."

The next project for the Gold Award candidates? "Girltopia."

"Girl Scout Seniors know the world could be better, especially for their female counterparts," Brown said. "This Journey and Take Action Project is their chance to imagine a perfect world—for girls. After completing that Journey and Take Action, they will individually plan and work on their Gold Award Project.

The Girl Scout Gold Award is the highest Award a Girl Scout can achieve; it requires at least 80 hours of work and must be an individual project that implements a long-term solution to a community issue. Many compare it to the Boy Scout Eagle Award.

Former Hackensack bank stands where the tavern that fed Gen. Washington once stood

Opposite the northwest corner of the Hackensack Green, a 150-year-old former bank stands on hallowed ground.Now housing law offices, the former Bank of Bergen County was built in 1874 as a monument to the county's prosperity. Gleaming in bright red brick, the building was a refreshing example of Victorian Gothic architecture and a display of Hackensack's wealth.Today, it endures as a reminder of an even deeper history. It serves as a bridge to a time when the site at the corner of what is now Sussex and Main streets held Archib...

Opposite the northwest corner of the Hackensack Green, a 150-year-old former bank stands on hallowed ground.

Now housing law offices, the former Bank of Bergen County was built in 1874 as a monument to the county's prosperity. Gleaming in bright red brick, the building was a refreshing example of Victorian Gothic architecture and a display of Hackensack's wealth.

Today, it endures as a reminder of an even deeper history. It serves as a bridge to a time when the site at the corner of what is now Sussex and Main streets held Archibald Campbell's tavern that fed Gen. George Washington during the retreat that made a nation.

It was about dusk when the first of the troops entered Hackensack on Nov. 20, 1776, according to an eyewitness account once kept by the Rev. Theodore B. Romeyn, the mid-19th century pastor of the First Church of Hackensack. They were falling back from a series of disasters that had British generals salivating at the prospects of victory.

"The night was dark, cold and rainy," the account continues. "They marched two abreast, looked ragged, some without a shoe to their feet, and most of them wrapped up in their blankets."

For the previous 18 months, Bergen County had become increasingly involved in the Revolution. The county had been war-torn, trounced by both Patriots and Loyalists seeking to gain key footholds in the conflict.

The drums of battle would beat again after the loss of Fort Washington in Harlem Heights on Nov. 16, 1776. Within four days, 5,000 British and Hessian troops were advancing up the Palisades toward an exposed Fort Lee. The fall of Fort Lee on Nov. 20 added to a string of Patriot mishaps in Long Island, Brooklyn and White Plains, New York.

Washington wrote to Gen. Charles Lee the next day from Hackensack, informing him of the loss of the "fort called by your name" and his decision to move his troops to the west side of the Hackensack River.

Washington had been staying at Peter Zabriskie's home on the north side of the Green.

Some drunk and mostly weary, Washington's troops had left Fort Lee and marched north to Englewood, then southwest along present-day Lafayette Avenue. From there, they turned right on Forest Avenue until they hit Teaneck Road, then called Schraalenburgh Road. They then proceeded north from there to New Bridge Road, where they turned left and proceeded west, crossing the Hackensack River at the "new bridge."

Washington, the head of his army of roughly 3,000, had crossed the "new bridge" at New Bridge Landing first. His troops trudged behind Washington and stayed at Zabriskie's, 50 Main St. His supplies were furnished by the tavern keeper across the street at 41 Main St., Archibald Campbell. As the British camped across the river, their fires shone brightly - stretching more than a mile. Campbell rightly had his concerns.

Before taking his leave, Washington rode to the dock near the crossing and "viewed the enemy's encampment about 10 or 15 minutes," according to the account.

He then returned to Campbell's tavern for some wine and water. Campbell laid his concerns bare for the general.

"With tears streaming down his face, (Campbell) said, 'General what shall I do? I have a family of small children and a little property here; shall I leave them?' Washington kindly took his hand and replied, 'Mr. Campbell, stay by your family and keep neutral,' then bidding him goodbye, rode off'."

By noon the next day, the British had occupied Hackensack. The Green was packed with thousands of Hessian troops in pursuit of Washington.

On Nov. 30, from New Brunswick, Washington wrote of his thoughts on the British tactics.

“They will pay dearly for it, for I shall continue to retreat before them so as to lull them into security,” he wrote.

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In all, Washington's army retreated 90 miles in 19 days before arriving in Trenton. They were there at Christmas in 1776 for the memorable Crossing of the Delaware and victory at Trenton, Washington's first major victory of the war.

For Campbell, the conflict also continued, according to Romeyn's account. His attempts to remain neutral went for naught on the night of March 23, 1780, when an estimated 400 British and Hessian troops burned the former Bergen County Courthouse on the west side of the Green. Campbell was taken prisoner. He had been confined to his bed from a bout of rheumatism and unable to hide when his tavern was raided.

As the story goes, Campbell was able to escape in the confusion and took refuge under the "new bridge." Once it was safe, he returned home. Campbell lived until 1798 and allegedly never had a recurrence of rheumatism.

This Bergen Rite Aid is the latest set to close after company files for Chapter 11

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A Rite Aid Pharmacy in Hackensack will close in just under two months, a spokesperson confirmed by email, the latest of more than 200 closures across the U.S. since the struggling retail pharmacy chain filed for bankruptcy.

The official closing date for the 219 Essex St. location will be June 16. The last date of operation for the pharmacy will be May 16, the spokesperson said.

With the Hackensack closure, 71 Rite Aids remain across New Jersey.

Rite Aid filed in October for the Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection as the beleaguered company faces slumping sales and battles lawsuits over its alleged role in fueling the opioid epidemic by illegally filling prescriptions for painkillers. As part of the process, Rite Aid embarked on plans to close over 400 of its more than 1,800 stores in the U.S. at the time.

The Rite Aid spokesperson would not say whether this closure was directly related to the retail pharmacy chain’s bankruptcy.

“Rite Aid regularly assesses its retail footprint to ensure we are operating efficiently while meeting the needs of our customers, communities, associates and overall business,” the spokesperson said.

“In connection with the court-supervised process, we notified the court of certain underperforming stores we are closing to further reduce rent expense and strengthen overall financial performance.”

According to Rite Aid, store employees are given the opportunity to transfer to another location — an offer that 75% of staff members so far at the Hackensack location have accepted.

Daniel Munoz covers business, consumer affairs, labor and the economy for NorthJersey.com and The Record.

Replacement of bridge connecting Hackensack and Teaneck advances. What you should know

Fourteen years after weight and lane limits were imposed on the East Anderson Street/Cedar Lane Bridge connecting Hackensack and Teaneck over the Hackensack River, construction of its replacement has finally entered the public information stage.During the construction of the new bridge, traffic will be restricted to one lan...

Fourteen years after weight and lane limits were imposed on the East Anderson Street/Cedar Lane Bridge connecting Hackensack and Teaneck over the Hackensack River, construction of its replacement has finally entered the public information stage.

During the construction of the new bridge, traffic will be restricted to one lane in each direction, which is nothing new for area motorists. When the Anderson Street Bridge was determined to be structurally deficient in 2012, concrete barriers were brought in and used to block outside lanes, reducing it to one lane in each direction.

At the same time, Bergen County officials placed a 15-ton weight limit on the bridge because of its poor condition, causing NJ Transit buses to be rerouted to Route 4 to cross the river.

A public information meeting will be broadcast on Feb. 22 from 6 to 8 p.m. to discuss the preliminary engineering phase of the estimated $40 million replacement of the 1971 bridge.

Bergen County officials will jointly host the meeting with representatives of the state Transportation Department, the North Jersey Transportation Planning Authority and the Federal Highway Administration.

The bridge will be replaced using a staged construction sequence, said Derek Sands, deputy chief of staff to Bergen County Executive James Tedesco. The stages include:

"Pedestrian access across the bridge will be maintained during construction," Sands said. "In general, the intent is to have one lane of traffic in each direction maintained for the duration of construction as much as possible."

No exact start date has been set, nor how long the project will last, Sands said, because those time frames depend on the design.

Resolutions of support for the project were passed by Teaneck and Hackensack officials in November 2019. Authorities held two meetings with local officials in June 2022 and early 2023. A community stakeholders meeting was held in April 2023.

Teaneck Township Manager Dean Kazinci described the bridge connecting Teaneck to Hackensack just east of the old Sears building as "a major artery connecting both jurisdictions."

"We are slowly inching forward with preparing finalized plans and continuously seek public input," Kazinci said. "Possibly some type of groundbreaking in 2025-ish? The new design and infrastructure will significantly improve vehicular travel and the safety of pedestrians/bicyclists crossing the bridge."

Kazinci said that although the goal is to avoid closing the bridge at all during construction, "there may be times when closure, in its entirety, is unavoidable."

"As we understand the temporary inconvenience this may cause to area residents, the bigger picture is a modern bridge with significant improvements that will last for many decades," Kazinci said.

Hackensack Mayor John Labrosse and City Manager Vincent Caruso did not respond to a request for comment.

Joe Romano, owner of S&J Shoe Repair on Anderson Street in Hackensack, said he expected "not much" impact on his business from the construction.

"Years ago they closed the bridge for something, and people just went around to the next bridge," Romano said Thursday.

The bridge is the northernmost of three local bridges crossing the Hackensack between Route 4 and Route 80, which is 2½ miles to the south. Closing the bridge would require drivers to take a 2-mile detour north to Route 4 and back, or south to the Salem Street/West Main Street Bridge and back.

INFRASTRUCTURE BOOSTHackensack bridge, in 'poor' condition for years, will be fixed as part of $1B state plan

The bridge is being financed in part through New Jersey's $12 billion federal infrastructure bill.

The meeting will be held online via Microsoft Teams at tinyurl.com/EAB-PIC-Meeting. Call to listen in on audio only at 412-634-6334, Phone Conference ID: 506 340 76.

A meeting transcript can be obtained by calling Joseph Baladi at 201-336-6446 or emailing a request to [email protected] no later than Feb. 20.

Written comments will be accepted through March 28 at: Joseph Baladi, P.E., P.P., C.M.E. Division Head — Planning (Bergen County Project Manager), One Bergen County Plaza, 4th Floor, Hackensack, NJ 07601, or by fax at 201-336-6449 or email at [email protected].

For more information on the project, visit Bergen County's webpage: eastandersonbridge.com.

Northern NJ Community Foundation Announces Partnership With Hackensack Public Schools to Address Flooding and Water Pollution

HACKENSACK, NJ - The Northern New Jersey Community Foundation (NNJCF) celebrates Earth Month and announces a partnership with the Hackensack Public Schools district to address the problem of flooding and water pollution in Hackensack. The partners plan to install a demonstration rain garden at Hackensack High School on June 1. They invite the public to help design it.Rain gardens can be an elegant, beautiful and valuable strategy to address flooding and pollution. They...

HACKENSACK, NJ - The Northern New Jersey Community Foundation (NNJCF) celebrates Earth Month and announces a partnership with the Hackensack Public Schools district to address the problem of flooding and water pollution in Hackensack. The partners plan to install a demonstration rain garden at Hackensack High School on June 1. They invite the public to help design it.

Rain gardens can be an elegant, beautiful and valuable strategy to address flooding and pollution. They absorb and filter more rainwater than grass alone. These natural landscapes can be designed to bring more natural beauty to an area and do more to attract and support birds and butterflies. The Hackensack Community Rain Garden will be on the First Street side of the Hackensack High School campus, located in a highly visible area accessible to the public.

In a resolution passed in February supporting the partnership, the Hackensack Public Schools district stated, the rain garden “is consistent with the goals of the District, creating not only an aesthetic and sustainable living piece of artwork for the enjoyment of the District and its visitors, but also to create a learning opportunity for the District’s students in the design and maintenance of the rain garden, which is aligned to the Science Curriculum.”

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Community Rain Garden and Information Session

As part of the NNJCF’s Earth Month celebration, the public is invited to get involved and share their ideas about the design of the community rain garden at Hackensack High School and also learn how to make their own. A 'Rain Garden Information and Design Session' takes place on Thursday, April 25 from 7:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. via Zoom. Participants need to register in advance of the session online. Upon registering, the link needed to attend the session will be provided in a ticket or sent in a confirmation email.

The installation of the Community Rain Garden is part of the community and environmental festival, Boost the Block Goes Green. The event will be produced by Greater Bergen Community Action in conjunction with the Northern New Jersey Community Foundation.

"We want to build a beautiful rain garden in a place located in the center of the city and the heart of the community. We hope this will inspire Hackensack residents to create rain gardens on their own properties," said Leonardo Vazquez, executive director of the Northern New Jersey Community Foundation.

Green Infrastructure for Environmental Justice

The development and installation of the rain garden and the information session are a part of the NNJCF's Green Infrastructure for Environmental Justice program. The program seeks to reduce flooding and improve environmental conditions for residents in central Hackensack and other parts of the city affected by flooding. More information about this project may be found online.

Donations Appreciated

The NNJCF seeks the public’s support to create and install the rain garden. To date, supporters for the rain garden include Suburban Consulting Engineers, a Champion sponsor.

Donations of any size may be made online. Contributions may also be sent by check and made out to 'The Northern N.J. Community Foundation', with ‘Hackensack Schools Rain Garden’ entered in the memo line. Send checks to the Northern New Jersey Community Foundation, 1 University Plaza, Suite 128, Hackensack, New Jersey 07601. For further information about the NNJCF, call 201-568-5608 or send an e-mail to [email protected].

About Northern New Jersey Community Foundation Founded in 1998, The Northern New Jersey Community Foundation, a not-for-profit 501(c) 3 organization based in Hackensack, New Jersey, celebrated its 25th anniversary in 2023. The NNJCF works with local governments, school districts, businesses, non-profit organizations, and citizen groups to improve community life.

Through collaborative partnerships, regional problems are identified and resolved. Opportunities are discovered and explored by talking and learning from each other and sharing ideas, best practices, services, and resources. The Foundation's primary areas of work are the environment, arts and culture, public health, education, civic engagement, and philanthropy. For more information, visit www.nnjcf.org, send an e-mail to [email protected], or call 201-568-5608.

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