Friday, February 28, 2014

Steen International Night

28- Feb.-2014

  On Thursday 27- Feb. Steen School held their annual International Night. As in years past the Families of Steen Students donated  food items that reflected their cultural background. This year Students and their Families also were able to display, and share facts of the ancestral homeland. The displays were presented into their continental groups.
   Also at this years event entertainment was provided  from different areas of the world.  Christina Piedra  & Ivan Taylor started the evening with some Salsa dance instruction to Students & Parents, along with The Faculty of Steen. The next group  performed a sampling  of Spanish dancing from the J&L Dance Company. While the rest of the evening had music was provided by Mariachi  Real de Mexico  as those in attendance wandered through the different countries of Steen Families looking at information about other parts of the world, sampling food, and viewing traditional clothing worn by some of the Students. They could also take away something on themselves as  Arva Attarwala decorated some with Henna Body Art.

David Vasquez (L) & Andrea Verdugo  displaying North American culture.

Laura Giumarra (L) & Martin Nunez Bonilla looking at European culture.

 The J&L Dance Company with Spanish Dancing.

Mariachi  Real de Mexico providing music

 Christina Piedra (L)  & Ivan Taylor with Salsa instruction 

Erica Lucinao (L) dancing with Ivan Taylor
Omokayma (L) dancing with Christina Piedra 

 Josephine & Sofia...

..Kristin & Evan..

... Nevaeh & Kristal..

 Principal Conroy & Belinda Aquine..

.. and some Teachers Salsa dancing.

Traditional Austrian (L) & Columbian costumes 

 Angie in her Colombian dress

Michaela (L) & Sofia just dancing.

Nylene getting a henna tattoo from Arva Attarwala 

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Steen Concert


     On Wednesday 26- Feb. the Steen Hawk Band performed their Winter Concert. The Hawk band is made up of students in fourth to sixth grade. This year a violin has been added to the ensemble, and Miss Murray talked of a larger string section for the Spring concert. The concert feature songs from Beethoven's '"Ode to Joy", Christmas Carols & Lullabies to current music of Carly Rae Jepsen "Call me Maybe". The show ended  with the theme from Star Wars.

 The Drum Line to open the performance.

Kamilia Nicholas

Gabriella Vargas (L) & Gabrielle Cintron 

Chris Zahirou

Olivia Burnett (L) & Angelika Mejia

Lara Pena (L), Ashlee Fabara, & Angelika Mejia

Dylan LeMay (L) & Evan Meberg

Evan Meberg

Chris Perry

Daniella Rivera

Natalie Hardwick 

Ms.  Jeannine Murray conducting 

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Bogota Basketball

 26- Feb.-2014

  Scores & upcoming games for Bogota High School Basketball.
  On Monday the  Bogota Lady Bucs lost their make-up game to Saddle River 30-71 the following day Tuesday 25- Feb. they traveled to Cresskill and lost to the Lady Cougars 27-34 this moves their record to 8-15 they next play at Palisade Park on Thursday 27- Feb. starting at 5:30p
  The Boys team beat Green meadow of Waldorf, NY  on Monday by the score of 78-77 in overtime. The Bucs trailed for most of the game, but put up a 22 point fourth quarter to force the  extra period.
Danny Connors lead the Bucs in Scoring with 29 points with 7 three point baskets and Keith Buirkle had 20 points with 4 three pointers to go with 11 Rebounds. Isiah Dela Cruz had a game high 12 rebounds. On Tuesday 25-Feb. Bogota hosted Cresskill at Speary Gym. The Bucs started the game strong taken a five point lead after the first quarter of play. Cresskill then came back with a 19 point second quarter to take a one point lead into half time. The Cougars outscored Bogota 23 to six to take control of the game and  handed the Bucs a 51-61 loss. This moves Bogota record to 7-16. Danny Connors had 13 points for Bogota , and Isiah Dela Cruz post 3 three point baskets.
  The Bucs next game is Thursday 27- Feb at home in Speary Gym against Palisade Park. This will be the Senior Night game for the Boys team and will start at 7:00p.
NOTE:  Bogota Blog NJ will be unable to cover this game. It is asked if any one has good photos of the Pre-Game ceremonies Bogota Blog NJ would like a chance to post them as part of the story of the game.

 Brain Lukabu blocking a shot.

 #15 Keith Buirkle driving to the net.

 # 35  Isiah Dela Cruz blocking a shot.

 Danny Connors bringing the ball up court.
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Board Of Education


   On Tuesday Night the Bogota Board of Education held their monthly meeting and work session. This was the first meeting under the new plan to only to hold the meeting once a month. Before the regular meeting there was a special session in order to fill the vacant Board seat once held by John Mitchell. The seat became open when Mr. Mitchell was elected to Bogota Borough Council. Two candidates stepped forward to ask to be considered for the position. The first was former Bogota Mayor Pat McHale.  Mr. Mchale said that his experience in Borough politics could be helpful with the School Board in working with the Borough Government. He also talked about how he had two children educated by Bogota Public schools and wants to work to help the present and future students get the best education possible. Mr. McHale was question by Board member Mike Connors on a number of points.  One of Mr. Connors concerns was the the fact that Mr. McHale resigned the Mayor's office before his term was fulfilled. Mr. Connors wanted to know if Mr. McHale would stay on the Board even if things became "difficult". Mr. McHale said he would be committed to serving out the term fully. The next point by Mr. Connors was to remind  Mr. McHale that as Mayor he was critical of the Board of Education, and wondered why he would seek to join this Board. Mr. McHale said that he would try and help to work with the other members of the Board to solve the problems he saw  as Mayor.
   The next candidate was John Powner, Mr. Powner  had lost his seat in the last election of the Board of Education. Mr. Powner said that he would like to have a chance to continue his work on the Board talking about some of the improvements to the Borough Schools taht have happened over the last two years. Mr. Powner also cited that  Bogota has had the same Superintendent  for a number of years and how that consistency has helped bring a more positive attitude to the school system. Mr. Powner has questioned by  Board Member Charles Severino  about the fact that someone who had lost an election for the post he is now seeking  again  on how that would be looked upon by the voters of the Borough. Mr. Powner responded by saying that he the to do the best job he could for the Students and citizens of Bogota. After a short recess for discussion the Board voted, 4-2, to select Mr. Powner  as the ninth member of the Board of Education.
   At the regular schedule meeting  Superintendent  Dr. Pantoliano made some opening comments. She talked about her displeasure at the snow removal from around the two elementary schools.  She had hoped, given the week of Winter Vacation, the Borough would have had time to clear the streets near the schools for teachers to be able to park.  At the present time there is still a ban on street parking at those Schools and is upset the some of the teachers are being given tickets.  Dr. Pantoliano contacted Bogota Police Chief John Burke to allow some teachers to park near Bixby if their cars were identified. However teachers still were ticketed with Chief Burke explaining that some of the officers were not informed of that. Teachers Representative Vicki Sheppard, later in the meeting, said that some of those teacher had appealed their tickets in traffic court and had got them overturned.
  In other announcement  Dr. Pantoliano told of the progress in the school building themselves. In Bixby & Steen Schools work has been done to refresh the paint in stairwells. Leeks and the front steps at Steen have been fixed. And how a number of improvement at the High School have happened. Some of those were the replacing of the windows, which has allowed the High School to stay warmer this Winter. A new bathroom on the first floor, new flooring in the Media Center and replacing the old heat sensors with smoke detectors.
Another upgrade was the an improvement to the weight room behind the Gym which was able to be paid for by the money saved from the move of the School Board election to November. There has also been an upgrade in lighting at the High School & Steen School with the help of a grant from PSE&G.
  During the meeting it was voted that a added school day was approved by a 6-1 vote. The added day is Friday 18- April, and will be a single session day.
   At the start of  the regular meeting  the Board honoured the lady Bucs Volleyball  team on their season. Coach Brad DiRupo complimented his team on their fourth straight State Group 1 title and of the 240 school in New Jersey the Lady Bucs are ranked second.  Board President Laura Guimarra then present the team with a jacket and certificate of recognition for the accomplishment.
  The next Board of Education meeting will be held on Tuesday 18- March starting at 7:30p It will be held in the High School Cafeteria located on the second floor located at 2 Henry Luthin  Pl. Bogota, NJ. The Public is invited to attend.

To help  support Bogota Blog NJ with it's coverage of Local news & sports please contribute what you can by using the  donation button  at the top right of the page.
The four time State Group 1 Championship Lady Bucs with
 Board President Laura Guimarra & Superintendent  Dr. Pantoliano
A few of the players getting their jackets from Laura Guimarra 

 Pat McHale  being interviewed by the Board. 

 Mike Connors asking Mr. McHale a question.

John Powner being interviewed by the Board

 Charles Severino talking to Mr. Powner

 John Powner (L) being sworn in by Norma Tursi 


Monday, February 24, 2014

Bogota Sports


 Some results from the past weekend of Bogota High School Sports.
 In Wrestling Bogota finish 5th out of 8 teams in the NJSIAA District #7  Finals. Their one wrestler Dennis Kolenovic in the 170lbs class  lost to Kevin Mulligan from Bergen Catholic 0-6.
 In the District #7 3rd Place  Qualifiers, at 120 lbs Boula Takla beat Anthony Romero from Hackensack 7-5. At 160lbs Freddy Takla scored a Pinfall over Karl Tayeb from Dumont. At 182 lbs Jonathon Profit beat Trevor Ashare of Dumont  12-5. At 285 lbs Beni Lopez scored a Pinfall over Jose Chucaralao from Hackensack.

In Basketball the Boys team lost to Weehawken 70-73 in overtime Friday night. Danny Connors lead with 21 Points while making 4 three pointers. Anthony Ovalle came in with 6 three point baskets, and Keith Buirke had 5 three points. The next day the Bucs came away with a 73-53 at Dwight -Englewood. By the end of the weekend their record stands at 6-15. The Bucs next play Cresskill on Tuesday 25- Feb. Then the play Palisades Park at home in Speary Gym on Thursday 27- Feb. with a 7:00p tip-off.

  The Lady Bucs have a make-up game against Saddle River on Monday 24- Feb at home in Speary Gym. The game is scheduled to start at 4:00p They next play away at Cresskill on Tuesday 25- Feb starting at 4:00p. Then at Palisade Park on Thursday 27- Feb. starting at 5:30.
  On Monday  3- March the #14 Lady Bucs play #3 Saddle Brook in the first round of the  NJSIAA  North 1 Group 1 Playoffs  the game has a 5:00p tip-off.

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Sunday, February 23, 2014

Upcoming events


Some events happen in and around Bogota for the week starting on 23- Feb.

25- February
  The next Board of Education  meeting and Work session will start at 7:30p  in the High School Cafeteria
At this next meeting the Board will vote on a replacement to fill the Seat that has been vacant because of the election of John Mitchell to Borough Council. Any one interested in applying for the open seat must  be over 18 years of age, be a current resident of Bogota for at least on year, and be able to pass a background check. There will be special  meeting on Tuesday 25- February at 6:30p before the regular Board Meeting to be interviewed by the Board Members. The Cafeteria is located on the second floor of the High School at 2 Henry Luthin Place Bogota , NJ. This meeting is open to the Public.

26- February
 Steen school will have a concert by it's school band starting at 6:30p in the Gymnasium.  This is open to the Public, and admission is free. Steen School is located at 134 W. Main St, Bogota, NJ


Steen School will hold it's International Night  from 6:30-8:00p in the Steen Gymnasium. This will showcase the diversity of the families whose children attend Steen School. There will be food, displays, and entrainment of cultures from around the world. It is asked that of those who attend bring a dish of food of an ethnic culture. The culture does not need to be of one's own. 
 Steen School is located at 134 W. Main St, Bogota, NJ

  Anyone wishing to volunteer to help set-up, serve, or clean-up please contact Eileen  Lewis at:, or Kristen Meberg at:

(it is asked that while attending this event you  inform them that you saw it on Bogota Blog NJ)

1- March
 A free Rabies Clinic will held at the W.Broad St. Fire House from 10:00a-Noon
For more information please call 201-342-1736 ext. 223

1&2 March
    A class on Spiritual awareness  is being offered by the Dragonfly Healing Center. This is a  two day workshop about how to experience a  Shamanic Journey.  This will take place on  Saturday & Sunday 1& 2 March. at the Dragonfly Healing Center located at  453 Larch Ave. in Bogota, NJ. This two workshop will cover the basic elements of  a Shamanic Journey. The cost of the workshop is $75 per day, anyone wishing to attend must have  registered before Saturday 22-February. For more information, or to see if there is still space available  please email : or call Kathy Ferris at 862-200-7719.
  The Dragonfly Healing Center is an Interfaith & Spiritual organization started by Kathryn Gates-Ferris of Bogota. She is an Ordained Minister who also provides Hypnotherapy services to  help  heal a person's mind, body, and spirit.  For more information about the Dragonfly Healing Center please go to their web site at:

To help  support Bogota Blog NJ with it's coverage of Local news & sports please contribute what you can by using the  donation button  at the top right of the page.

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Council Meeting


    On Thursday 20-Feb. the Bogota Borough Council  held their regularly schedule meeting and work session. The main point of discussion  between the Mayor & Council Members was the hiring of a replacement for current CFO Frank Berardo who is resigning his post in Bogota at the end of February.  Mr. Berardo holds the same position in Ridgefield & Cliffside Park. The candidate put forward is Mr. Frank  DiMaria, who also serves as the CFO for Saddle Brook. The discussion began with Mayor Tito Jackson wondering why the salary of Mr. DiMaria would be more than what Mr. Berardo had been making, and why  he had not filed a RFQ with the Personnel Committee. Councilman Jorge Nunez explain that the salary suggested is midway of what is required for that position, and the Finance Committee was the one that needed to know his qualifications. Councilwoman Lisa Kohles also asked to know about Mr. DiMaria before voting on his appointment.  Finally it was agreed to voted on Mr. DiMaria appointment and to further discuss his salary in closed session.  During the course Mayor Jackson had to remind the members of the Public, who were in attendance, that calling, shouting out  to the members of Council was prohibited. This happen after there were shouts about wanting the vote to proceed.  Mr. DiMaria's appointment was passed on a 5-1 vote.
  During the Committee  Reports Councilman Chris Keleman took the time to thank the members of the DPW for their work in keeping the streets clear over the last few weeks of snow fall. This was supported by the rest of  Council and greeted with applause by the members of the Public. Councilman Nunez also took a moment to acknowledge the effort of Mayor Jackson as head of the Office of Emergency Management  as well as the Women & Men who volunteer their time as First Responders, that work to keep the Borough safe.
   The Aftermath of the snow fall was a key topic talked about when the floor was opened up for Citizen Comments.  Many felt the there was insufficient time to alert the Public about the emergency parking restrictions. Other questioned the timing, and amount, of tickets issued by the Police Dept. for parking violation. While it is unclear that the Council has the power to absolve, or forgive, any violations issued  Mayor Jackson  talked about learning from the past month of storms and working with the Police & DPW departments in order to refine the plan of such emergencies in the future.
  The next Council Meeting and work session will be held on Thursday 6- March starting at 7:30p in the Borough Hall Council Chambers located on the second floor at 375 Larch Ave. Bogota, NJ. This is an open meeting , and the Public is welcome to attend.

Today 22-Feb. the Bogota Police have added all Business Areas in the Borough to the list of permitted on
street parking. The alert is as follows:

The Borough of Bogota is still under a State of Emergency As per B.O. 7-3.2 and parking on all streets at all times of the day are prohibited with the exception of: 

-All Business Areas 
-West Shore Avenue (west side of street) 
-Ridgefield Avenue (east side of street from West End to E. Fort Lee Rd.) 
-East Fort Lee Road (north side of street) 
-West Fort Lee Rd (north side of street) 
-West Grove Street (north side b/w Elm Ave & Linden Ave) 
-Orchard Terrace (west side from W.Fort Lee Rd. to W. Main St) 

These measures will remain in place until the roads can be properly cleared for safe passage. Any vehicles parked on the street will be ticketed and towed. Compliance is necessary as the borough has acquired the equipment to begin removal today. Please comply with the NO PARKING requirement or we will be forced to continue the restrictions for a much longer time than is necessary. 

Residents with fire hydrants in front of your homes are requested to shovel them out for everyone's safety. The recent weather events and the conditions left behind have created trying times for all and I want to Thank All Residents for your patience and cooperation. 

Chief John Burke
Contact Information:
Bogota Police Department
Bogota Police Department

Friday, February 21, 2014

Bogota Beautiful

21- Feb.-2014

   On Wednesday  19- Feb there was a board meeting for Bogota Beautiful held in the Borough Council Chambers. Bogota Beautiful is a newer Community based group founded last year which is looking to upgrade and improve the look of the main streets in Bogota. They also want to educated and assist the citizens of the Borough to help maintain it's small town charm. At this meeting the talk was mainly about how to encourage more resident learn about Bogota Beautiful, and to raise fund for their projects. One of their top project is part of the Bloomin Bogota fund which is looking to install planters along the Main St  Business District.  I was announced at this meeting that enough money has been raised for two such planters. At this time it was not decided where these should be placed. Councilman Rob Robbins mentioned that they need to bring their locations to a Council meeting in order to get approval, and advice from the DPW  for the best and safest way to install these planters.
  As for fundraising  Vice President Isabel Rodriguez informed  those present that Bogota Beautiful will partner with the Steen PTO on their Casino Night in April. Ms. Rodriguez will hold a Salsa Dance lesson at that event.  It was also announced that Bogota Beautiful will be looking in to having a table at the next Bogota Day in June.
  One strong point of this meeting is to try to find a way to get interest in the idea behind Bogota Beautiful and to join in it to help form Bogota into a stronger community for all it's residents. They want to work other groups like the Bogota Community Alliance,  the Bogota Green team, and any School, or church groups that share their vision of what living in Bogtoa can be like.
  Their meeting will be Wednesday 19- March at 7:30p this will take place in the Borough Hall Council Chamber located at 373 Larch Ave. in Bogota, NJ For more information on how to contribute, or join Bogota Beautiful please go to their website at

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Bogota Beautiful President Armau Bustamante (C)
 talking about the agenda for the meeting.