August is heading to a close and it’s time to start thinking about back to school, cooler temperatures, and fall activities — including all of the Hoboken and Jersey City happenings you missed this past week. Among the highlights: the president of St. Peter’s University will retire after this academic year; international soccer star Lionel Messi is in Hoboken; and the Hudson County Prosecutor’s Office hosted a vigil to honor National Overdose Awareness Day. Read on for all the news from Hoboken and Jersey City for the week ending August 27th, 2023.
Soccer Star Lionel Messi is in Hoboken this Weekend
It’s been a minute since a celebrity was spotted in Hoboken — after a star-studded June in the Mile Square, things tamed for a bit in the wake of the WGA Strike. Alas, in the last hours of summer, it’s rumored that one of (if not the) most famous athletes in the world has stepped foot in our little city. You might know him: he goes by the name of Lionel Messi, and recently signed a contract with Miami FC, making him an official member of the MLS. Messi’s team is playing against the New York Red Bulls at their home stadium in Harrison this Saturday, August 26th. Read on for what we know about Lionel Messi’s arrival in Hoboken.
NJ Law Now Requires Schools to Provide Free Menstrual Products to Students
The term “period poverty” might not be commonplace in some communities but limited access to menstrual supplies affects millions of people on a daily basis. As of this week, New Jersey is taking strides to combat that issue — with the help of Jersey City-based, grassroots organization The Flow Initiative — passing a statewide mandate that requires public schools to provide free menstrual health products in grades 6-12. The mandate, coined Bill A1349, also requires schools to cover the costs of said period products, and Governor Murphy officially signed the bill into law on August 23rd, 2023. Read on for what we know about Bill A1349 and what this bill means for public school students in grades six through twelve, who will now have access to free period supplies.
Neighbors Adopt + Foster to Help Liberty Humane Society Shelter
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We reported last week how the Liberty Humane Society was in dire need of help, and neighbors heeded the call. According to NJ.com, enough people came forward to adopt and foster animals, in particular large dogs, to help make room at the shelter. While the urgency is quelled for now, the shelter continues to waive adoption fees for dogs 35 pounds or more to make more room.
Plans Approved for Journal Square Building with Affordable Housing
The Jersey City Planning Board approved plans for a Journal Square building with 20% affordable housing units, according to the Hudson County View. The 360-unit building will be located at 693-701 Newark Avenue and be composed of one-, two-, and three-bedroom apartments with retail spaces on the first floor of the building. The application was unanimously approved.
Safety Reminder for Charitable Donations
The New Jersey Department of Consumer Affairs shared a reminder to residents about being vigilant when donating to charities. New Jerseyans should beware of fraudulent charitable solicitations when seeking to donate to relief efforts in Hawaii. Charity organizations that solicit donations in New Jersey are required to register with the State. Don’t be fooled by a convincing name or professional-looking website. Check a charity’s status with the Division of Consumer Affairs.
Governor Murphy Signs Bill to Officially Recognize Central Jersey
A new bill in the New Jersey legislature sought to define the boundaries of Central Jersey. After advancing along with three other bills related to the subject back in February, Governor Murphy has now signed the bill — meaning Central Jersey will officially be recognized under New Jersey law. Central Jersey is often the butt of friendly ribbing from its North and South Jersey neighbors, querying whether Central Jersey does exist. The bill proposes defining the region for the purpose of promoting tourism, and now that it has been signed by Governor Murphy, New Jersey’s state tourism map will be re-drawn to include Central Jersey. Read on to learn more about this new NJ law.
New Owners for Waterfront Plot in Weehawken
A plot of land along the Weehawken waterfront that has been plagued with problems with ownership has a new owner and path forward. Per Jersey Digs, the land at 1800 Avenue at Port Imperial has been the subject of a complex lawsuit that has resulted in a new ownership group taking over, the W&L Group and Windfall Group. The 3.65-acre site will be built out to be a mixed-use complex with 282 residential units.
New Trash Containerization Rules In Effect in Hoboken
Via a Nixle announcement, the City of Hoboken shared specifics about the new trash containerization rules which went into effect on August 24th. All residential or mixed-use properties with 10 or fewer units are required to store trash in containers with a tight-fitting lid when at the curb for collection and while stored between collections. This regulation is part of the City’s efforts to control the rat population. For more information, please click here.
Renovations Complete at Secaucus Walmart
Per NJ.com, major renovations are complete at the Seacaucus Walmart. The eight-month effort on the flagship store was a top-to-bottom refresh which are a part of a larger effort to upgrade all New Jersey stores. The Walmart is the only grocery store in the area, so that part of the store got special attention during the renovations.
1st Street to Partially Shut Down in Hoboken on Sundays This Fall
The start of fall is just about a month away (yes, we’re wondering how summer has gone by so fast, too) — and while the weather may be cooling off over the next few weeks, the start of fall means there is another Hoboken program to look forward to. Hoboken Summer Streets and Fitness in the Park may be dwindling down, but on Sunday, September 10th, Hoboken’s First Street Sundays will be coming back for 2023. This initiative aims to create a vehicle-free, no-parking zone on 1st Street in Hoboken between Washington and Garden Streets each Sunday through October 22nd. Read on for more details about Hoboken’s 2023 First Street Sundays — plus, some new additions to this year’s programming.
2023-2024 Jersey City Budget Approved
The Jersey City Council approved a budget of $701 million that will require a 2% municipal tax increase. According to NJ.com, the budget passed in August with a 6-3 vote, after failing in July. It is estimated that the average increase for taxpayers will be $70.
Back to School Event at Hoboken Community Center
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The Hoboken Community Center hosted a back-to-school event on Saturday, August 19th. According to a press release, 50 families attended to shop for free school items such as backpacks, art supplies, coats, clothing, accessories, and period products. The Hoboken Community Center (HCC) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that provides essential services and spaces to support the well-being of the Hoboken, NJ community. It has a three-pronged mission consisting of an affordable housing program for 96 low-income men, a 40,000+ square foot community and recreation center that will be rehabilitated at 1301 Washington Street, and a food and hygiene supply pantry supporting 2,400 registered clients.
Hudson County Prosecutor’s Office Hosts National Overdose Awareness Day Vigil
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The Hudson County Prosecutor’s Office hosted a vigil on Thursday, August 24th in honor of National Overdose Awareness Day, according to a press release from the office. The vigil took place at West Hudson Park in Kearny and was organized in conjunction with the New Jersey Attorney General’s Office Operation Helping Hand to end the stigma associated with overdose deaths, provide addiction and recovery resources to the community, and increase awareness of the impacts of the opioid epidemic. In addition to remarks from representatives of the Hudson County Prosecutor’s Office, RWJ Barnabas Health Peer Recovery, North Jersey Health and Wellness, and victim-survivors, the program ended with a candlelit vigil and memorial walk.
New Women’s Clothing Boutique Open in Jersey City
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We certainly are spoiled when it comes to the boutique options in Hoboken and Jersey City — from vintage stores like Another Man’s Treasure in JC to newer spots like Cabana Club in Hoboken. Now, Jersey City will be getting another spot for locals to shop at. A new women’s clothing and jewelry boutique called ‘Dollhouse Xpress’ is now open on Bowers Street — the grand opening was held on Saturday, August 26th, with a ribbon cutting at 2PM. Read on for what we know about this new boutique in Jersey City.
Proposal to Permit Tattoo Parlors in Hoboken: What to Know
Hoboken has basically everything a person could want — boutiques, restaurants, amazing NYC views, bars — but not tattoo or piercing shops. A 1998 law that banned the establishment of new tattoo parlors in Hoboken is being re-examined, and if one Hoboken City Council member has his way, rewritten. Read on to learn more about the proposal to permit tattoo parlors in Hoboken.
Four Candidates Vie for Three Open Seats on Hoboken School Board
Per Patch, this fall’s upcoming Hoboken School Board election will see four candidates running for three open seats. Three candidates are running together as a slate and calling themselves Moms Leading Progress, Board President Sharyn Angley, member Chetalia Khanna, and past board member Sheilah Dallara. Independent candidate Patricia Waiters is also running. Election day will take place in November with early voting beginning October 28th.
Jersey City’s WORD Bookstore Celebrates One Year of Open Mic Nights
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Word Bookstore, located at 29 McWilliams Place in Jersey City, celebrated the one-year anniversary of its Open Mic Nights on Friday, August 25th. Per NJ.com, the monthly event was started by neighbor and poet Emily Lu Gao. The events are designed to feature works by writers, poets, and artists of color and from marginalized communities.
Hoboken Commits Nearly $200K to Upgrade Trash Cans in Effort Against Rats
As part of the City’s efforts to control the rat population, the City of Hoboken will spend nearly $200K to upgrade trash cans. According to NJ.com, the city will distribute 3,500 of the new rat-proof trash cans to residents as part of a pilot program. Details are still being finalized on who will get the containers first.
Jersey City-Based Theater Company Announces New Name, New Production
Shakespeare@, Jersey City’s premier classical theatre, announced via a press release that it will re-launch as The Curtain, with an all-new production of William Shakespeare’s classic Romeo & Juliet. Directed and Adapted by Sean Hagerty, The Curtain’s Romeo & Juliet will play at the Nimbus Arts Center, located at 329 Warren Street in downtown Jersey City. Performances begin Thursday, September 28th, and will run through Sunday, October 22nd. Leading the cast are Aria Shaghasemi (series regular on CW’s “The Originals” & spin-off “Legacies”) as ‘Romeo’ and Italian actress and Venice Film Festival Pasinetti Award winner Anita Pomario (The Macaluso Sisters) as ‘Juliet’, in her American stage debut.
Festivities Planned for NJ Transit’s 40th Anniversary
NJ Transit will celebrate its 40th Anniversary this fall, and the agency already has celebrations planned. According to a press release, the weekend of September 30th through October 1st will be filled with special events to honor the history of the railway, including traveling the Northeast Corridor and North Jersey Coast Lines in a special train with historic and conventional equipment. The festivities will culminate in an exhibit of heritage locomotives at the Hoboken PATH Station on October 1st. Tickets are required for the special rides, for tickets and more information, please click here.
Hoboken Launches Fresh Start Program
The City partnered with several nonprofit organizations and local businesses like Markdaniel Barbershop to offer the new Fresh Start program providing those experiencing homelessness with showers, haircuts, clean clothing, and more.
Via a press release, the City of Hoboken announced the launch of the seasonal Fresh Start program, which aims to enhance the lives of individuals experiencing homelessness. Spearheaded by the City’s social workers and the Office of Constituent Services, the initiative helps supply some fundamental needs to those without homes encompassing hygiene, grooming, clothing, and sustenance.
As communities across the country grapple with providing support to the unhoused, Hoboken’s Fresh Start Program is a proactive response to alleviate some of the hardships vulnerable individuals may face. The program offers a safe and welcoming space where participants can access much-needed resources including shower trailers, haircuts, clean clothing, nutritious sandwiches, and connection to vital services.
Two Found Dead in Journal Square Parking Garage
Two unresponsive men surrounded by drug paraphernalia were found on Thursday morning, August 24th, in a Jersey City parking garage near the historic Loew’s Theater. Per NJ.com, a passerby called the police after spotting the two men. Both men were pronounced dead at the scene, and while it is suspected that their deaths were due to an accidental overdose, no further information has been released.
New Grocery Store Opening this Fall in Secaucus
This fall, Secaucus residents will have another grocery store. Secaucus Grocers plans to open in October at the intersection of Paterson Plank Road and First Street, according to NJ.com. This will mark the first new grocery store in the area in over ten years.
St. Peter’s University President to Retire in 2024
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Eugene J. Cornacchia, Ph.D, President of St. Peter’s University in Jersey City, announced his plans to retire in June 2024. According to a press release from the school, Dr. Cornacchia joined the St. Peter’s faculty in 19891 and has been President since 2007. Dr. Cornacchia leaves a legacy of growth and achievement for the University, including setting records in fundraising, charitable outreach, and both athletic and academic accomplishments.
New Electronic Bowling Lanes in Hoboken
Play! Hoboken has a new attraction: electronic bowling lanes. Per Patch, the game store and gathering spot located at 1012 Grand Street in Hoboken, has added four lanes of electronic mini-bowling to its space. The lanes have bumpers that can be raised or lowered to accommodate different players, making the lanes a great addition to the family-friendly spot. The lanes can be reserved in advance for use and for private parties.
Fire Safety Concerns Prompt New Regulations in Union City
Union City has instituted new regulations governing the use of grills and other flammable items after an August 8th Board of Commissioners meeting, according to NJ.com. Bonfires and fire pits are now prohibited within the city limits, and charcoal and gas grills are forbidden from being within five feet of any combustible exterior wall. Citing fire safety concerns, grills are also prohibited from use inside a building, on porches, rooftops and balconies, or under any overhangs.
New Speed Limit Near Hoboken Schools
The City of Hoboken and the Hoboken Public Safety Department expanded the expansion of city school zones to incorporate all K-12 schools in Hoboken, and the establishment of a lower school zone speed limit of 15 miles per hour (mph). Via a press release, the expanded school zones and speed reduction ordinance, adopted unanimously by the Hoboken City Council, has been a priority of Hoboken’s Vision Zero Action plan and aims to create safer streets near schools, which have a higher percentage of vulnerable road users, in particular, children.
The 15-mph speed limit will be in effect on streets surrounding schools during school arrival and dismissal times, and during recess when the presence of children is clearly visible from the roadway. Signage will be installed before the ordinance takes effect on Sept. 12. Locations considered school zones were vetted by leaders from the Hoboken Public School District and the Hoboken Public Safety Department. To find a map of those locations click here.
Fatal Officer-Involved Shooting in Jersey City
Per a release from New Jersey Attorney General’s office, there was an officer-involved shooting in the Bergen-Lafayette section of Jersey City at approximately 2:28PM on Sunday, August 27th, where a Jersey City resident sustained fatal injuries. Police officers from the Jersey City Police Department responded to a home on Randolph Avenue in the area of Bramhall Avenue after emergency medical services personnel requested the assistance of police. One Jersey City police officer fired his service weapon and a male civilian was struck. The injured man was transported to a local hospital, where he was pronounced deceased at approximately 4:47PM.