Rutgers Will Join Harvard-MIT Lawsuit Against New ICE Rules

Rutgers University to Join Harvard – MIT Lawsuit Against New ICE RulesWill file as amicus on Monday; first hearing on Tuesday

Rutgers University President Jonathan Holloway today announced that the university will join as an amicus in the lawsuit filed by Harvard University and MIT to block the imposition of new rules that would be draconian for international students and devastating to colleges and universities across the country. RU will file as amicus on Monday, July 13, with the first hearing being Tuesday, July 14. The new guidance proposed by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) on Monday would prohibit international students from taking course loads that are delivered entirely remotely and would require international students to immediately leave the United States if all of their courses are being delivered remotely. “Presenting these new policy proposals in the midst of the global pandemic, on the heels of announcements that universities across the country will be providing remote instruction, and only weeks before the start of the next semester is both revealing and troubling,” President Holloway said. “Our mission is to educate and improve the lives of our community locally and globally. READ MORE

Central Jersey Jewish Public Affairs Committee Hosts Candidates Forum

Central Jersey Jewish Public Affairs Commitee (CJJPAC) provided Highland Park’s Democratic Council Primary Candidates Councilwoman Elsie Foster-Dublin and Matthew Hersh a Zoom Candidates Forum. Both are running unopposed, but the CJJPAC forum allowed them to share their views with the Jewish community on Highland Park’s social fabric, institutions, and government – and most importantly, their goals and aspirations moving forward. Many members of the local Jewish community also submitted questions for the candidates on issues of concern to the community. We thank them for sharing their time and insights with us. Don’t foget to vote Tuesday July 7th, 2020. READ MORE

The County Prosecutors Association of NJ Announces Scholarships

Middlesex County Prosecutor Yolanda Ciccone announced that the County Prosecutors Association of New Jersey is offering scholarships to law school students seeking careers as prosecuting attorneys, graduate students with a commitment to child advocacy, and to police officers hoping to attend college or graduate school to advance their careers in law enforcement. The annual scholarships, each amounting to a one-year grant of $3,500, will be paid directly to the recipients, who will be selected by a committee that administers the County Prosecutors Association of New Jersey Scholarship Foundation. Scholarship applicants must be residents of New Jersey and must demonstrate a financial need. Scholarship recipients from previous years           are ineligible. Each of the scholarships is dedicated to the memory of an attorney who died in office, where the individual had served with dignity as prosecutors in various counties in New Jersey and exemplified the high standards of law enforcement professionals. READ MORE

Yolanda Ciccone of Metuchen is Middlesex County’s New Prosecutor

Yolanda Ciccone, of Metuchen, the former Assignment Judge of Somerset County, was sworn in today as Prosecutor of Middlesex County during a brief ceremony officiated by retired Judge and former Prosecutor Alan A. Rockoff. In June 2020, Governor Phil Murphy nominated Yolanda Ciccone to be the Prosecutor of Middlesex County. She was confirmed by the Senate on June 15, 2020, beginning a five-year term as the county prosecutor.  Prosecutor Ciccone began her legal career in 1980 as a law clerk to the Hon. John E. Bachman J.S.C. and Hon. READ MORE

Street Mural “Black Lives Matter” Paints a Picture of Commitment to Achieving Equal Justice for All

Borough officials, volunteer leaders, and community residents gathered at the Highland Park Borough Hall on Sunday morning, June 21, to celebrate Juneteenth, the commemoration of the end of slavery in the United States, with the unveiling of a Black Lives Matter street art mural. The big and bold yellow letters spelling out Black Lives Matter on South Fifth Avenue in front of The Borough Hall and the Fire House are meant to be a reminder to all residents that during slavery obviously, but even during the 157 years after the emancipation of slaves, blacks have experienced and still are experiencing today severe challenges of ingrained prejudice that has demeaned, devalued and destroyed black lives. In addition, the art also will serve as an inspiration for the community to make constructive structural changes to achieve equal justice and equal opportunity  for all regardless of the color of one’s skin. According to a Washington Post analysis black Americans are disproportionately affected by police violence across the United States. The Highland Park mural response came after weeks of massive protests across the country against racial injustice and police brutality following the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis. READ MORE

Perspective: Contact Tracing with Privacy Protections is a Formula for Saving Lives and Boosting Economy

We need effective contact tracing with privacy protections to open NJ’s economy and save lives. In NJ, more than 12,000 people in the last three months have died from COVID-19 – more than we lost during all of WWII.  During this same time period as Governor Murphy issued his stay-at-home order that shut down all but essential businesses, more than one million people in NJ claimed unemployment and the budget deficit over the next year is now predicted to be close to $10 billion dollars. During this past week, my committee, the Assembly Science Innovation and Technology Committee, together with the Assembly Community Development and Affairs Committee chaired by Assemblywoman Shavonda Sumter held a hearing on one of the key tools needed to reopen NJ’s economy safely:  contact tracing. 

Contact tracing has been a weapon in the battle to prevent the spread of communicable diseases for decades. According to the World Health Organization, the eradication of smallpox, for example, was achieved in 1979 not by universal immunization, but by exhaustive contact tracing. Diseases for which contact tracing is commonly performed include tuberculosis, vaccine-preventable infections like measles, sexually transmitted infections (including HIV), blood-borne infections, some serious bacterial infections, and novel infections (e.g. SARS-CoV, H1N1, and COVID-19). 

Technology plays a crucial role in contact tracing, and as our world has been more technologically advanced, our personal data have become more vulnerable.  While NJ has no plans to develop a contact tracing app that we would download on our phones to track our movements, it does intend to use a central database to store contact tracing data in “the cloud.” This information, collected through telephone calls to those suspected of being in close contact with someone that has tested positive for COVID-19, will include your name, ask about how you are feeling, ask about others with whom you may have had close contact, and ask that you quarantine yourself.  You will NEVER be asked for money, your social security number, bank information, immigration status, or other personally protected information. READ MORE

HPHS Graduating Seniors Get Special Graduation Present – Highland Bucks

Highland Park High School (HPHS) seniors will be celebrating their graduation this year under a cloud of COVID-19. The traditional graduation ceremony for students and their relatives is being replaced by a virtual ceremony and a car parade. Main Street Highland Park, in collaboration with Project Graduation, however, hopes to bring a little sunshine to the untraditional graduation by implementing a program called “Highland Bucks for HPHS graduates.”

Project Graduation, a group of parent volunteers whose goal is to produce a safe year-end celebration for the graduating high school seniors, reached out to Main Street for an initiative that would give a boost to both the graduates and the retail community. Each graduate will receive a $20 Highland Buck certificate that can be used as cash in any participating Highland Park downtown business. There still is time for businesses to sign up for this program that costs the businesses nothing and generates good will. READ MORE