Hudson County CASA is seeking volunteersLearn how to become a CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocate) volunteer and help foster children find safe and permanent homes. You may attend an information session at the Hudson County Courthouse, 595 Newark Ave. Room 901, on Tuesday, Jan. 10 at 6:30 p.m. Hudson County Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) is a non-profit organization committed to advocating for the best interests of abused and neglected children. CASA works through trained community volunteers to ensure that needed services and assistance are made available to children while helping to move them toward safe and permanent homes. Hudson County CASA volunteers are everyday people who make a direct impact in foster children’s lives. They are trusted, dedicated adults who seek to improve children’s well-being. CASA volunteers get to know their assigned child and his or her circumstances and provide valuable information to the court. Judges rely on the volunteers’ recommendations to make the best decisions about the children’s futures.For further information, visit www.hudsoncountycasa.org. Hovnanian celebrates topping out of new Port Imperial condominiumK. Hovnanian Homes recently hosted a topping-out ceremony to celebrate the construction of the final floor at Nine on the Hudson, a new 13-story building offering 278 for-sale condominiums in West New York. Construction on the new building, which is part of the Port Imperial redevelopment project, began in November 2015. The topping-out ceremony was held on Dec. 2 in an outdoor tent on the third floor of the new building, overlooking the Hudson River and Manhattan skyline.Nine on the Hudson features architectural design from the firm of Marchetto Higgins Stieve. In addition to panoramic views of New York City, Nine on the Hudson will offer a wide array of high-end, lifestyle-oriented features and amenities designed to evoke a distinct combination of community, comfort, and convenience. The Hudson River Waterfront Walkway is steps away from the building. New York Waterway offers ferry service from Port Imperial, providing an easy nine-minute ride into Midtown. Hoboken is a short ride away on the Light Rail, accessible in under 15 minutes. Port Imperial also offers a variety of grocery stores, coffee shops, restaurants and other conveniences, all within an easy walking distance. State Sen. Sacco retiring from school system jobNicholas Sacco is giving up his $260,000 per year job as assistant superintendent for elementary and secondary education but will continue to serve as state senator and North Bergen’s mayor, his spokesman said last week.“Mayor Sacco will be retiring from the North Bergen Board of Education during this year,” the mayor’s spokesman, Phil Swibinski, said in an email quoted by NJ.com. “However, no retirement date has yet been set. He plans to continue serving as mayor of North Bergen and state senator representing the 32nd District.”Sacco has also worked as an elementary school principal, among other positions, over the course of a 49-year career in education.According to a survey by NJ Advance Media in June, Sacco’s school salary of $259,550 was the second highest among all public employees in Hudson County. But Sacco, a Democrat, would likely rank as Hudson’s highest paid public employee when counting his annual salaries of $15,000 as mayor and $49,000 as state senator from the 32nd Legislative, which would put his combined annual income at $323,550. He also was paid for a time to perform weddings.That kind of triple office holding would no longer be permissible for future legislators under a 2007 law barring legislators from holding another elected office, but Sacco was among 19 lawmakers who were grandfathered in when the law was passed.Swibinski said Sacco’s school pension had not been determined, but would likely be about $180,000, a figure lower than the maximum due to allocations to family members. Swibinski said Sacco’s pension was, “controlled by the exact same regulations that govern the earned retirement benefits of every other public employee in the state.”One reason Sacco is leaving is because of his success in creating a new school campus in the township, Swibinski said. “One of the primary goals that he has had—he’s been fighting for decades—is to bring a new high school to North Bergen,” Swibinski told The North Bergen Reporter. “It was just a few months ago that that finally became a reality.” Last year, Sacco announced that North Bergen High School would be replacing Hudson County’s High Tech High School on 85th Street and Tonnelle Avenue, once that school moves into a new Secaucus location. “His view—and he stated this at the press conference when we announced it—was that once that project was done, once that goal was accomplished, he felt that his work was complete and he could leave.”Swibinski said Sacco plans to seek re-election for mayor and state senator, and that he will be eligible for additional pensions once he retires from those.After starting work for the school system, Sacco was first elected mayor in 1992, then won his state Senate seat the following year. He has been re-elected by wide margins in the heavily Democratic township and legislative district ever since. Pictured are the fourth grade class from Public School #6 in West New York, The Blue Jays. Hats were donated by the Meadowlands Racetrack, LLC. Give blood in WNY or HobokenAs people travel in winter and are not as available to donate, the American Red Cross urges eligible donors to make an appointment to give blood or platelets to help meet the constant need for blood this winter.In West New York, blood donations will be accepted on Jan. 9 from 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. at St. Mary of the Holy Redeemer Roman Catholic Church, 6515 Polk St.In Hoboken, donations can be made on Jan. 14 from 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. at Saint Francis Parish Center, 308 Jefferson St.Simply download the American Red Cross Blood Donor App, visit redcrossblood.org or call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) to make an appointment or for more information. All blood types are needed to ensure a reliable supply for patients. A blood donor card or driver’s license or two other forms of identification are required at check-in.Individuals who are 17 years of age in most states (16 with parental consent where allowed by state law), weigh at least 110 pounds and are in generally good health may be eligible to donate blood. High school students and other donors 18 years of age and younger also have to meet certain height and weight requirements.Blood donors can now save time at their next donation by using RapidPass to complete their pre-donation reading and health history questionnaire online, on the day of their donation, prior to arriving at the blood drive. To get started and learn more, visit redcrossblood.org/RapidPass and follow the instructions on the site. ×Pictured are the fourth grade class from Public School #6 in West New York, The Blue Jays. Hats were donated by the Meadowlands Racetrack, LLC.