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Week in Review: Borders to Close, School District to Get More State Aid

A weekly roundup of some of the top local news stories this week on Fort Lee Patch.

The recent announcement of Borders bankruptcy filing and the decision to close the Fort Lee location has left locals feeling like they’re losing a good friend. The Fort Lee location is scheduled to close no later than April 30.

Despite Wall Street’s optimism, Main Street is suffering. Not the amorphous Main Street that pundits throw around to prove some political point on cable talk shows, our Main Street. Borders was a big local employer. From the time they opened their doors they drew their staff from the residents of Fort Lee. From college students, to stay-at-home moms returning to the work force, to seniors—many residents relied on Borders for a paycheck.

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New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie is providing an additional $250 million for New Jersey schools in his fiscal year 2012 budget. Aid figures released Wednesday by the Department of Education show an increase for every school district in the state.

For Fort Lee that means $951,643 in special education aid for grades K-12, an increase of $565,960 in total aid over last year.

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A 19-year-old student has been accused of sexually assaulting an adult female acquaintance at his Fort Lee home, according to the county prosecutor’s office.

after authorities learned of the assault, which took place that day, First Assistant Bergen County Prosecutor William Galda said in a statement. Huang was charged with sexual assault and held at the Bergen County Jail on $300,000 bail, the statement said.

He was ordered to surrender his passport and have no contact with the victim, Galda said.  Jail records identify Huang as a Chinese citizen and the prosecutor's office said he is a student at FDU's Hackensack campus.

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Three seats on the Fort Lee Board of Education are up for grabs in April, and the BOE has announced that the deadline for filing nominating petitions is 4 p.m. on Tuesday, March 8.

The terms of board vice president Peter J. Suh, Michelle Stux-Ramirez and Joseph J. Surace are set to expire this year. The election is scheduled for April 27.

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The Holocaust Museum of the is seeking donations of holocaust memorabilia and artifacts. The museum opened three years ago, the brainchild of Rabbi Meir Berger and museum curator Ronnie Streichler, and occupies space on the synagogue’s top floor. 

Steichler said that from time to time the museum still gets donations—mostly books—and  they also receive some money on occasion, but in the past six months or so “we haven’t received any additional memorabilia, which is really sad.”

“Sadly, it’s mainly survivors that would have memorabilia,” she said. “And there are fewer and fewer of them as we are losing them. Some of them prior to passing on have donated their memorabilia—their artifacts—to the museum. But there are always more and more things that we would love to have.”

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Produced and re-mixed by “Little” Louie Vega, now of Fort Lee, “We Are One” recently saw its international digital release and features backing vocals by some local kids, including Vega’s son and two of his best friends.

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It took nearly 90 years, but a longtime Fort Lee resident who has been writing poetry in notebooks, diaries and on scraps of paper since before the age of 20 in her native Ireland is now a published poet with two volumes of her own collected works having just come out.

90-year-old Moira Bailis, who moved to Fort Lee from Ireland with a brief stop in Manhattan with her family in 1966, is the author of the 450 poems that comprise The Antidote to Prejudice and It Has To Do With Seeing, both of which bear the subtitle The Collected Poems of Moira Bailis.

A poetry reading dedicated to Fort Lee’s own poet Moira Bailis is March 6 from 2 to 4 p.m. at the .

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The Fort Lee basketball teams paused from their normal routine to honor their graduating student athletes Wednesday when the Bridgemen hosted Dwight Morrow.

Prior to the game, Fort Lee head coach John Ziemba called the team managers, graduating cheerleaders and senior players on to the court with their families.

Ziemba talked about everyone’s contribution to the team and went in depth about his two seniors.

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A local nonprofit group that specializes in delivering food to those who need it most is among seven nonprofit groups to receive free marketing, advertising and PR services for a year from a group known for its own charitable giving.

Table to Table of Fort Lee, a community-based food rescue program that collects prepared and perishable food that would otherwise be wasted and delivers it to organizations that serve the hungry in Bergen, Hudson, Essex and Passaic counties, received the award announced last week by the Marcus Group – a boutique agency specializing in advertising, crisis communications and public relations.

The week in review appears every Sunday on Fort Lee Patch.

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