Home COVID-19 26 Hoboken + Jersey City News Stories You Missed This Week

26 Hoboken + Jersey City News Stories You Missed This Week

by Ainsley Layland
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A week of life in Hoboken + Jersey City means there is plenty of news to catch up on. Among the local headlines — plans for pedestrian safety improvements and traffic signal upgrades have been announced in Hoboken, Jersey City opens its sixth vaccination site, volunteers at the Hoboken Food Pantry recognized for one year of pandemic relief, and so much more. Keep reading for all the news you missed this week in Hoboken, Jersey City, + beyond.

2,000 Hoboken Kids Enjoyed Saturday Easter Egg Hunt

Nearly 2,000 children hunted for eggs at Grace Church in Hoboken on Saturday, March 27th. Each participating in one of 15 sectioned-off “egg hunt areas” on Mama Johnson Field. The free, annual event also included more than 25,000 candy and toy-stuffed eggs, arts & crafts, and pictures with the Easter Bunny.

11 Pharmacies Added to Vaccine List in Hudson County

covid pharmacy

As eligible groups for the COVID-19 vaccine expand, so does the list of pharmacies where you can get it, including 11 new pharmacies this week, per Patch. Chains like CVS, Walgreens Walmart, Sam’s Club, Rite Aid, and ShopRite have been offering the shot. It’s worth checking the sites several times daily, including early in the morning. There is a full list of available Hudson County sites here.

Jersey City Woman Builds Global Community for the Bereaved

facebook support group

After her father’s death in April 2020, Sabila Khan created a Facebook page, COVID-19 Loss Support For Family And Friends, “in the wee hours” of one of those sleepless nights, per NJ.com.

“As much as family and friends were reaching out and offering support, all I wanted to do in that moment was talk to other people who were going through what I was going through,” she said.
Nearly a year later, that page has grown to become what its founders believe is the largest COVID-19 grief support group on Facebook.

Jersey City Theater Center Launches Virtual Black Space Series

The Jersey City Theater Center launched a new talk series this week called “Black Space,” an ongoing series of intimate and candid conversations exploring the experiences of black artists in the world today. The first event on March 31st was held at 7:30PM and will be followed by similar events on April 11th and April 25th. The talks are lead by Ashley Nicole Baptiste, JCTC’s Associate Artistic Director. Interested parties can join via Zoom.

NJ Lifts Restrictions on Outdoor Gathering + Entertainment Venue

indoor gathering

New restrictions {or lack thereof} went into effect this week for outdoor gatherings and entertainment venues. As of Friday at 6AM, Governor Phil Murphy increased the general outdoor gathering limit to 200 individuals, according to Governor Murphy’s office. Previously limited to 50 as a measure to mitigate the spread of COVID-19. In addition, outdoor settings including religious services, weddings, funerals, memorial services, and political activities remain uncapped.

Notification Required for Juvenile Marijuana Offenses

marijuana guardian notification

Thanks to a new measure signed into law, parents/guardians will now be notified the first time their underage child is caught using or possessing marijuana or alcohol.  under a measure signed into law on Friday by Governor Phil Murphy. Once the adult-use marijuana bill was passed, the opposition called into question the ability to prevent youth from accessing marijuana and other substances still illegal to minors.

“It is important to remember that it is still illegal for minors to possess or consume marijuana, alcohol and other substances in New Jersey,” said Greenstein, who serves as Chairwoman of the Senate Law and Public Safety Committee. “Parents should be notified of their children’s possession or consumption of drugs and alcohol. They have a right to know about any offenses to ensure that their children are safe.”

Less Than 40% of Jersey City Parents to Return Children to School in April

jersey city school

Jersey City’s schools may be emptier than expected when they reopen this spring for the first time in more than a year, per NJ.com. The results of a survey completed by about half of Jersey City Public School parents showed that, of those parents who responded to surveys, only 38% percent plan on sending their children to school for in-person learning.

Dresdner Robin Completes First Phase of Environmental Remediation at Jersey City’s ‘The Cove’ Site

the cove

Land-use consultancy Dresdner Robin has completed the first phase of environmental remediation at The Cove project in Jersey City, N.J., a joint venture between Argent Ventures and H&R REIT. The 18-acre site along Aetna Street and Jersey Avenue represents one of the largest development sites near downtown Jersey City. The project is adjacent to Liberty State Park with clear views of both downtown Jersey City and Manhattan. Construction for a two-tower, mixed-use site is expected to commence in 2022.

Safety Improvements Coming to 11th Street + Willow in Hoboken

pedestrian safety

Plans for pedestrian safety improvements and traffic signal upgrades have been announced as part of Hoboken’s Vision Zero campaign. The intersection in question is located at 11th Street and Willow Avenue in uptown Hoboken, per Tap Into. The project includes four new concrete curb extensions designed to reduce pedestrian crossing distances, ADA-compliant curb ramps with detectable warning surfaces, high-visibility crosswalks at all approaches, and new traffic signals.

City Of Hoboken Adopts Standard Wage Ordinance

standard wage ordinance

This week Mayor Ravi S. Bhalla signed an ordinance into law establishing living wages with benefits for all building service workers, which includes janitors, concierges, and security, at all developments receiving City subsidies, reported Patch. In addition to the established wages, the ordinance also requires the use of competitive contracting for subcontracted building services. This mandates minimum hourly rates of pay with benefits while also protecting workers against displacement. The ordinance passed unanimously through the City Council and goes into effect immediately.

Homegrown Mexican Street Food Chain Tacoria Expanding to Hoboken


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Tacoria, the fast-casual restaurant that has been growing at a rapid clip, will be bringing its newest location to Hoboken, according to their Instagram. Earlier this month, we reported that Frankie + Ava’s at 208 Washington Street made the decision to close its doors and potentially move to a new location. Tacoria recently confirmed on its Instagram account that it will be moving into the space.

Hudson County Schools Look to Expand Summer Programming

summer school

Every time school districts in Hudson County pushed back their reopening dates to protect their communities from COVID-19, they knew it would come at the steep cost of many students’ educational progress, per NJ.com. This summer is shaping up to be the time those districts are targeting to help students catch up on what they missed while learning remotely. Multiple districts said they are already planning far more robust summer school programs than usual — with some fun sprinkled in.

Hoboken Food Pantry Celebrates 1 Year of Pandemic Response


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Volunteers and dignitaries were recognized at The Hoboken Food Pantry for the hard work they have done over the past year, per Hudson County View. The establishment has worked tirelessly to assist the community during this global crisis.

“When the pantry started a little over one year ago, we were operating out of a closet-sized room in the Hoboken Community Center to feed about 35 individuals,” Hoboken Community Center Board President Ken Nilsen said. “Now, thanks to more than 1,200 amazing partners and donors and 220 volunteers who worked 1,750 hours, we’ve grown into a larger space and dramatically expanded our operations to include biweekly distributions that have provided 11,615 bags of food to 1,280 households.”

Hoboken Man Charged with DWI, Drives Wrong Way Down Street

man arrested DWI

Hoboken police charged a man with driving while intoxicated at 3:40AM Sunday morning on March 21st, reported Hudson County View. Jessey Asare, of Lodi, was charged with driving while intoxicated, reckless driving, and driving the wrong way on a one way street, according to Police Det. Sgt. Jonathan Mecka.

Hoboken Community Invited to Wednesday DEP Anti-Flood Plan Meeting

hoboken city council

Hoboken residents were invited to attend a virtual pre-construction meeting this week to discuss the beginning stages of the city’s $230 million anti-flooding ‘Rebuild by Design’ project, per Patch. The initial stages of the project will begin with sewer improvements in south Hoboken in early April. Ultimately, the above-ground flood protection will include a public park in North Hoboken at Cove Park, as well as other community amenities.

‘The Boundary’ to Bring Rooftop Public Park to Southwest Hoboken

rooftop park

A new multi-purpose building, The Boundary, will be located on Harrison Street in the southwestern corner of Hoboken and offer the community a medical office with ground-floor retail, a parking garage, and a public rooftop park. Greg Dell’Aquila of JDA Group LLC owns the current building and already has the approval to build a 13-story apartment building across the street in Jersey City. The project appeared before the Hoboken Zoning Board of Adjustment this week to begin its approval process.

“This project and its design is a culmination of what we see Hoboken wanting and what we think is going to be the best thing for the neighborhood,” said Dell’Aquila of JDA Group LLC. “We care.” The current parking lot would be converted into a six-story medical building with the ground floor housing retail space. Read more here.

Hoboken Business Owner Caught Uploading Sexually Explicit Images

business owner arrested

A Hoboken business owner was caught uploading sexually explicit images of minors following an official investigation at his Bedminster home last week, per Hudson County View. William Maass, Jr., 62, of Bedminster, was arrested at his home after police and detectives from the Somerset County Prosecutor’s Detective Squad executed a search warrant. He was charged with third-degree possession of child pornography and third-degree possession of child erotica. Maass was processed and released pending a court appearance.

Scientists Still Trying To Explain Hoboken ‘Worm Tornadoes’


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The bizarre “wormnadoes” sighted in Hoboken piqued the interest of several outlets, communities, and scientists. A longform story was posted on Livescience quoting Kungsoo Yoo, a professor in the Department of Soil, Water, and Climate at the University of Minnesota, saying, “This tornado shape is really interesting.” Yoo studies how invasive earthworms transform forest ecosystems, and though worms are known for mass-emerging from soil after rain, he had never seen them form a spiral before.

Mayor Fulop Opens 6th Vaccination Site

jersey city vaccine

The Jersey City Department of Health and Human Services and Mayor Fulop announced the opening of Jersey City’s sixth vaccination site, prioritizing frontline workers including restaurant and food workers, grocery store workers, porters, hospitality workers, those in medical supply chain, warehouse workers, and more.

“As we saw initially with our testing efforts, the more you increase access to these services, the more people are going to be inclined to get vaccinated, which ultimately increases our safety overall and accelerates our return to normalcy,” said Mayor Fulop.  “These frontline workers have remained at the forefront throughout this entire pandemic, making sure everyone has had continued access to the vital goods and services our residents rely on. And so now that they are eligible, we want to return the favor and make sure they get the vaccines they need to remain safe at work.”

Hoboken School Board Wins Distinguished Budget Awards

school budget

The Hoboken School District has been awarded both the Government Finance Officers Association’s Distinguished Budget Award and the Association of School Business Officials’ (ASBO) Pathway to Meritorious Budget Award for excellence in budget presentation during the 2016-2016 budget year. The award goes to show how serious Hoboken Public School District’s commitment to high-quality budgeting.

In order to receive the budget award, the District had to satisfy nationally recognized guidelines for effective budget presentation, per Patch. Budget documents must be rated “proficient” in all four categories, which include how the budget serves as a policy document, financial plan, an operations guide, and a communications device and the fourteen mandatory criteria within those categories, to receive the award.

Jersey City Joins Regional Coalition to Launch Resilience Initiative for Flood Reduction

flood coalition

A coalition of local leaders and technical experts recently announced the launch of the Resilient Northeastern New Jersey initiative, per Insider NJ. This joint effort between the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP), Hudson County, Ironbound Community Corporation, and HOPES Community Action Partnership, supported by a team of consultants led by Arcadis, will identify and implement flood risk reduction strategies for the Northeastern New Jersey region to improve long-term environmental and economic resilience. Cities joining the operation include Jersey City, Newark, Hoboken, and Bayonne.

‘M’ is for Mutz: Hoboken Deli Featured on Sesame Street

The fuzzy characters of Sesame Street (PBS) recently visited Hoboken in a search for fresh mozzarella cheese, in Episode 5119. Cookie Monster and Gonger stopped in at Fiore’s House of Quality {414 Adams Street} for a detailed lesson on mutz-making. After Fiore’s worked their magic, Cookie Monster and Gonger headed on back to Sesame Street, with what looked like a 2-pound braid of fresh mozzarella.

Court Rules Hoboken’s First Medical Marijuana Dispensary Needs Further Review

Last year, Secaucus-based Harmony Dispensary had plans to transform 95 Hudson Street and received approval by the city’s planning board in August 2020. Colorado-based Terrapin announced their intentions in September to open their own dispensary at 86 River Street, per Jersey Digs. The company signed a 10-year lease at the 3,500-square-foot property and soon after filed a lawsuit against Harmony. Hudson County Judge Marybeth Rogers ruled that Harmony must seek approval from the city’s Medical Cannabis Review Board to move their dispensary forward.

“We’ve maintained all along that we were filing this lawsuit in the public health, safety, and community interest of the people of Hoboken,” said Chris Woods, owner and founder of Terrapin. “The Review Board was established to bring accountability and transparency. If there is nothing to hide, then all companies should welcome the opportunity to formally introduce themselves to the people of this city and answer any questions they may have.”

Community Celebrates Transgender Day of Visibility with Flag Raising in Hoboken

transgender pride

Members of the Hoboken community along with the Hudson Pride Center, The Hoboken Police Department, and Mayor Ravi S. Bhalla raised the Transgender Pride Flag above City Hall  in celebration of Transgender Day of Visibility.

“In Hoboken, we will always stand up for the rights of our transgender community, because trans rights are human rights,” said Mayor Bhalla. “Hoboken is a fair and welcoming City where all are treated equally no matter your gender identity. To all of our trans, non-binary, and gender non-conforming community members – we see you, we love you, and we celebrate you on this Transgender Day of Visibility, and every day.”

Creation of CCRB Requested by  Hoboken Policy Task Force

CCRB police

Based on the results of a survey responded to by the Hoboken community, the Hoboken Policing Policy Task Force has made several recommendations to the police department that includes reviewing the creation of a civilian complaint review board.

“A majority of respondents (74%) feel it would be a good idea for the City of Hoboken to institute a Public Safety Review Board to provide oversight of hiring practices and complaints,” the task force noted, indicating that 2,066 people responded and almost all (99 percent) were city residents.

Jersey City Raises Blue Flag Over City Hall To Mark Start Of Autism Awareness

April is Autism Awareness Month, which gives those on the spectrum and their families a chance to celebrate their differences. In honor of the month, Jersey City is flying a blue autism awareness flag high over city hall, CBS reported.

“The statistics say one in 45. We say one of a kind because they’re children. They may be unique, they may have special idiosyncrasies. But they’re still children and we need to treat them that way,” said Van Liew, a school principal in Paterson.

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