24 Hoboken + Jersey City News Stories You Missed This Week

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Every week we bring you the highlights in the news, so you can stay up-to-date on what is happening in Hudson County. Among the local headlines — a man was arrested for the attempted murder of an Amazon employee, Jenni “JWoww” Farley to open a maternity store at American Dream Mall, Central Avenue has called for artist submissions, and so much more. Keep reading for all the news you missed this week in Hoboken, Jersey City, + beyond.


Former Hoboken Mayor Russo Has Passed Away

russo passing

Former Mayor Anthony Russo passed away this week at the age of 74, per Tap Into. Russo won two mayoral elections in 1993 and again in 1997, rising from his position on the City Council. It was during his time as mayor that Hoboken saw the start of the redevelopment of Pier A and Sinatra Park, which greatly influenced waterfront access for local residents. He is survived by his three sons, Councilman Michael Russo, Hoboken Police Officer Anthony Russo, and retired Hoboken Police Officer Nicky Russo.


Stevens Tech Will Require Vaccines for Students + Staff Returning to Hoboken Campus

Stevens Tech in Hoboken announced on Thursday, April 22nd that it will be making COVID-19 vaccinations mandatory for students and staff starting with the upcoming fall semester — with exemptions are available for those who qualify.

President Nariman Farvardin shared a message on the Stevens’ website to all students on Thursday:

“Over recent weeks, I have had the opportunity to meet with many faculty, staff, and student leaders and groups to discuss our plans for the Fall 2021 semester and our university’s position on requiring COVID-19 vaccinations. Two themes have emerged from these conversations.

First, there is eagerness and great enthusiasm for a return to the activities that characterize a “normal” academic year—in-person undergraduate and graduate classes; on-campus research; and participation in many of the intellectual, cultural, and social events and activities that we have missed during the last 13 months. Second, there is a significant consensus that requiring the COVID-19 vaccination for our campus community is an essential component of our plan for a safe and healthy return for the 2021-22 academic year.”

Click here to read more.


American Dream Owners Default on $1.2 Billion Construction Loan

american dream mall

The Canadian company, Triple Five owns several retail destinations, including the American Dream Mall in East Rutherford, per Jersey Digs. After falling behind on loan payments, the company will relinquish partial control at other properties they own. The holders of the loan include JP Morgan, Goldman Sachs, Starwood Capital, CIM Group, Soros Fund Management, Wafra, and iStar.

“According to reporting from The Financial Times, the lenders are in the final stages of taking a 49% stake in two other malls owned by developer Triple Five that were used as collateral for the American Dream. The lenders will be getting a stake in the Mall of America and Alberta’s West Edmonton Mall.”


Hoboken Announces Expanded Free Residential Composting Plan

compost

The City of Hoboken will be expanding the composting options available to residents, per Tap Into. At this point, the plan will increase the program to include eight new composting locations later this spring. There are currently four drop-off locations throughout Hoboken.

According to figures provided by the City of Hoboken, the expansion of the City’s full composting program is estimated to avoid 5.6 metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions which is roughly the equivalent of removing 15 cars from the street.


Hoboken Councilman Under Fire for Renting Primary Residence via Airbnb During Pandemic

hoboken airbnb

Hoboken Councilman Michael DeFusco has come under fire by his fellow council members for renting out his condo 23 times over the past nine months via Airbnb while traveling abroad, per Pix 11 News + Tapinto Hoboken.

A joint statement was released by several councilmembers Emily Jabbour, Philip Cohen, and Jim Doyle about their concerns.

“Not only has he been traveling across the world to COVID hot-spot countries like Colombia, Michael has rented his own apartment through Airbnb more than 20 times since August of last year, including up-to month-long rentals, evidently leaving him absent from his elected office, absent from Hoboken, and absent from any presence in the City he’s elected to represent.”

Hoboken Second Ward Councilwoman Tiffanie Fisher took issue with her colleagues’ comments.

“I hope the public will see this for what it is —a politically motivated hit job,” said Fisher. “Many City Council members, not just Mike, have traveled this last year to be with close family, including those who signed this letter.”

While none of the officials said they believed DeFusco broke state or city directives relating to renting out one’s condo on Airbnb, they said his record of using and renting Airbnb showed that he had traveled from home frequently during the pandemic, putting him out of reach of his constituents at a time they needed him. Read more here.


$2 Million Riverview-Fisk Park Renovation in Jersey City Complete

riverview fisk

Jersey City officials including Mayor Fulop, the Municipal Council, and the Riverview Neighborhood Association {RNA} announced the reopening of Riverview-Fisk Park following the $2.1 million renovations. The upgrades include a modernized infrastructure, restoration of historic elements, tree canopy preservation and expansion, and additional recreation features for kids of all ages to enjoy the outdoors according to the press release. Click here to read more.


South House in Jersey City Hints at Reopening

 

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In an Instagram post on Friday, April 23rd South House said, “Something’s happening here…what it is ain’t exactly clear”. The large restaurant that brought southern hospitality to Jersey City closed its doors in November 2020, allegedly for good. It would now appear things may be reopening in May 2021.


Sweat + Glo, an Infrared Sauna Studio Opened in Hoboken

sauna

Sauna lovers, this one’s for you. Sweat + Glo, a new infrared sauna studio in Hoboken, opened on Monday, April 19th. This studio specializes in the sauna experience with infrared lighting. We had a chance to chat with the owners about what locals can expect. Click here to learn what we know about Sweat + Glo now open in Hoboken at 80 River Street.


Paterson Man Arrested for Attempted Murder of Hoboken Amazon Worker

Man Arrested for Attempted Murder

On Monday, April 19th, 27-year old Corey Ferguson of Paterson was arrested for the attempted murder of an Amazon worker on October 11th, 2020. Hoboken Police responded to the scene near 9th and Monroe Streets on reports of a male with gunshot wounds. Together the Hoboken Police Department and Paterson Police Department investigated the situation which resulted in the arrest made this week. Ferguson was transported to the Passaic County Jail.

Hoboken Police Chief Ken Ferrante stated, “Outstanding work by so many of our uniformed officers and investigators brought two positive outcomes. First, the quick reaction and execution of his prior training led Officer Christopher Barral to save our victim’s life and keeping him with his family. This was followed by the immediate, diligent work of our Investigations Bureau. Detectives Miranda and C. Collins were persistent in solving this case and with the assistance of many of our top-notch detectives, we finally have the apprehension of this shooter.”


JWoww Of ‘Jersey Shore’ Opening Maternity Shop At American Dream

maternity shop

Best known for her role in the MTV show “Jersey Shore” Jenni “JWoww” Farley is opening her first maternity clothing store at the American Dream mall in East Rutherford. The store is expected to open in the coming weeks, per Patch.

“We know that Jenni and her kids have really enjoyed their visits to our center, so it felt like a natural fit to bring her Heavenly Flower concept to American Dream,” said Don Ghermezian, chief executive officer of American Dream. “Heavenly Flower will be a new go-to destination and the fulfillment of the American Dream vision of providing unique guest experiences,” he added.


Governor Murphy Signs 19 NJ Bills Into Law, Vetoes 4 Others

murphy

On Monday, April 19th, New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy signed 19 bills into law and vetoed four others. Of those signed into law, several are geared towards strengthening how law enforcement manages sexual assault cases, per Patch. The seven-bill package of sexual assault legislation aims to ensure survivors “are treated with respect and understanding by law enforcement”, according to a news release from the Governor’s Office. Other laws passed will assist LGBTQIA+ veterans and allow law enforcement to retire early.

Murphy vetoed legislation that would have eliminated mandatory prison time for political corruption offenses committed by elected New Jersey officials, as well as crimes committed by “bad actors in law enforcement that violate the public trust.”


Central Avenue Calls for Submissions for Jersey City Art Walk

The Central Avenue S.I.D. Management Corporation is again seeking creative proposals for public art installations within the Central Avenue shopping district. Selected artwork will be commissioned for installation late summer/early fall and paid upon completion. The submission deadline is Friday, July 30th, 2021

“In 2020 Central Avenue was able to bring color into the lives of a community that needed to see a brighter perspective,” said Sanford Fishman President of Central Avenue Special Improvement District and longtime pharmacist at Bond Drugs. “The vibrant artwork colored a time when the community needed it most. We hope to add more this coming year and excited to see what artists have in store for Central Avenue in the era of a pandemic. Our community takes pride in its outdoor art gallery along the shopping corridor. Last spring, New Jersey Advance Media named Central Avenue the “Most eye-popping one-mile walk in Jersey City.” This year will mark Central Avenue’s eleventh consecutive year installing artwork. With over 20 murals on the avenue, our colorful artwork is appreciated by thousands of daily Hudson County residents and visitors.

All artists interested in participating must complete and adhere to the guidelines in the Request for Proposal which is available online.


Woman-Owned Engel + Volkers Hoboken to Open Jersey City Brokerage

EV ribbon cutting

Local real estate brokerage Engel & Volkers Hoboken is a woman-owned business focusing on quality work for its clients. This real estate brokerage, owned by Lisa Troyano-Ascolese, is opening a Jersey City location and expanding its footprint in the North Jersey real estate market. Click here to learn more about the world-renowned brokerage, located at 159 14th Street in Hoboken, and the exclusive offer for Hoboken Girl readers.


BK Lobster Sign Put Into Place for May 7th Grand Opening

In an Instagram post this week, a video shows the storefront sign being put into place for BK Lobster. The Brooklyn-based restaurant is centered around lobster, lobster rolls, lobster pasta, and lobster mac is coming to Hoboken at 732 Washington Washington Street. The grand opening will be on May 7th followed by a Friends + Family Day on May 8th. Click here to read about what we know so far.


Jersey City School District Reverses Plans to Reopen April 26th

schools reopen

This week, the Jersey City Public School District announced that students would not be returning to the classroom to finish the school year, in a shocking, 11th-hour reversal of its initial plans to reopen next week, per NJ.com. The unexpected decision to keep the 30,000-student district on its remote learning plan comes just days after teachers returned to the schools for the first time in over a year to prepare their classrooms for in-person learning amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.


Local Barre Celebrates 11 Years in Hoboken

Local Barre in Hoboken celebrated 11 years in business this week. In an Instagram post, the barre studio said said, “Local Barre Uptown was the first barre studio in Hoboken…officially opening its doors on April 21st, 2010! Today, we are overwhelmed with joy to be a part of this amazing Hoboken community and are thankful for all of the bartenders and clients who have walked through our doors! Cheers, and THANK YOU!!!” Click here to learn more about the studio.


Jersey City Parents Protest at BOE Building

 

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On Thursday, April 22nd, Jersey City parents gathered together in protest outside the BOE Building located at 346 Claremont Avenue. Jersey City public school students will not complete the school year inside their classrooms, a shocking, 11th-hour reversal of its initial plans to reopen this coming week, per NJ.com.

“We cannot open schools with teachers and paraprofessionals working from home,” Superintendent Franklin Walker said. “Over 400 employees submitted requests {to work remotely from home} based on an increased risk for COVID-19 and while they met the medical requirements, the district cannot provide in-person instruction without them and does not have substitutes to work in school while they work from home. We will focus our efforts and most notably our resources on a full in-person reopening in September. I will communicate with the staff about our expectations later this week and inform you if circumstances change.”


Violence Intervention Program at JCMC Brings Healing and Hope to Victims

medical center

Jersey City Medical Center is expanding its services in support of victims of violence and their families, thanks to a federal Victims of Crime Act {VOCA} grant, per Tap Into.

Based on an evidence-based treatment and intervention model developed at the University of California, the program is being rolled out to four sites in New Jersey, including the Jersey City Medical Center — making this the only program of its kind in Hudson County.

The hospital offers a multi-pronged approach to providing treatment and support for victims and families impacted by violence in both clinical and non-clinical peer settings.


Tresorie Moves to New Monroe Street Location

tresorie move locations

The custom framing shop Tresorie has moved from its previous space on Washington Street to a new spot on Monroe Street in Hoboken. The owner, Heba Elbanna, told Hoboken Girl why she loves the new address.

30 Indicted, $2.6 Million in Cash Seized as Major N.J Drug Ring is Busted

drug ring arrested

Authorities in Atlantic County have unsealed indictments against 30 people accused of operating a major drug-dealing operation, seizing $2.6 million in cash as well as three vehicles and eight plots of land, per NJ.com. One of the reputed leaders of the organization ran the ring from the Atlantic County jail thanks to the help of a corrections officer who smuggled in cell phones and drugs, while the other is one of three charged in a 2019 murder in Atlantic City.


Jersey City Commits $2M To Expand Homeless Outreach

historic downtown jersey city city hall

In an effort to expand permanent solutions to help people experiencing homelessness, Jersey City is committing to spending $2M to help those in need, per Patch. The city is building on the success of the free public showers program, which aimed to promote personal hygiene among the homeless population during the pandemic.

The $2 million will be invested in permanent shower facilities, free laundry, expanded case management operations, and providing mental health services.


New Convenience + Smoke Shop Coming to Washington Street

smoke shop washington

Signage in a storefront window on Washington Street between 9th + 10th Streets shows a convenience and smoke shop is coming soon to Hoboken. The retail space located at 934 Washington Street was previously occupied by Anuya Massage + Reflexology, which closed in 2020 due to the pandemic.


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Originally from North Carolina, Ainsley became a proud Hoboken Girl years ago. As a freelance journalist she has written about everything under the sun for the past six years. She works from her home office in uptown Hoboken or sometimes from Choc-o-Pain, because nothing says “freelancer” like working from a café with a fresh croissant nearby. As the mother of one very fast toddler, she has a passion for self-care, parenting hacks, and discovering all the fun things the Mile Square has to offer.