22 Hoboken + Jersey City News Stories You Missed This Week

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This week went by in a flash, with a ton of news happening in both Hoboken and Jersey City. Among the headlines — Governor Murphy delivered his revised state budget, Peggy Diaz of the Hoboken Fire Department starred in a commercial, and Newark Ave in India Square is set to get design upgrades — along with almost 20 other stories. All that and more below — keep reading for all the news you missed this week in Hoboken and Jersey City:

Less Than 3 Weeks Till the Hoboken Wellness Crawl – A 30-Day Event

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In virtual news, the Hoboken Wellness Crawl is also headed online this year. Hoboken Girl will donate 20% of all ticket sale profits to the Hoboken Relief Fund. Tickets also support the Hoboken Girl team! Purchase your tickets here today and get set for 30 days of online engagement with Hudson County businesses.

This year’s event kicks off September 13th and will run through October 13th. Crawlers can take advantage of exclusive deals and giveaways via really exciting virtual options {stay tuned for the Jackraffit app} and in-person activities at their leisure if desired/allowed by the government regulations during the 30-day period. Come help us help our local businesses thrive! Purchase tickets here.

Governor Murphy Delivered His Revised State Budget Address at Rutgers University on Tuesday

gov-murphy budget address 2020

On August 25th, Governor Murphy delivered his revised budget address for the upcoming fiscal year six months after his initial budget of $40.9 billion, NJ.com reported.  The state government spending plan rolled out his plans to borrow $4 billion and raise another $1 billion through tax increases to erase a $5.6 billion state budget hole.

“We can’t build the same New Jersey that we had before the coronavirus crisis. And, we can’t run the same old plays of the past, which only provided short-term political cover while not providing any long-term systemic reform. Among so much else, we have committed $125 million to help renters and landlords weather this storm and to not fear for eviction while it continues to rage,” Governor Murphy stated.

 Peggy Diaz of Hoboken the Fire Department Stars in OxiClean Commercial

peggy diaz oxy clean commercial

In July, OxiClean made the trip to Hoboken to shoot a commercial starring Peggy Diaz, the first Latina Captain in the county’s history, along with her group to promote OxiClean Odor Busters. “Peggy was chosen because she is a trailblazer and role model in the community,” a representative from the fire department told a member of Hoboken Girl. When Peggy got the call to potentially participate in the commercial, she was shocked, humbled, and nervous, but in the end, accepted, and had a great time representing her city alongside her coworkers, she shared with us.

The commercial is 1:23 minutes long and was shot inside the firehouse she commands, showing her eating lunch with the firefighters in her group, working out together, responding to a mock call, releasing water from the fire apparatus at Pier A, and washing clothes. Peggy briefly walks viewers through what it’s like working as a firefighter. You can watch the commercial here.

N.J. Governor Signs Law To Require ‘Implicit Bias Training’ for Police Every Five Years

police training implicit bias nj

In response to growing concerns about police brutality and racial injustice, New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy signed legislation yesterday that requires law enforcement officers to undergo implicit bias and cultural training once every five years. After the murder of George Floyd earlier this year, nationwide protest sparked conversations about police reform at all levels of government. Murphy said that requiring implicit bias training for law enforcement officers, which was previously optional, “is a part of a comprehensive approach to ensure that New Jersey is second to none in demanding the highest standards of accountability and professionalism from our law enforcement officers.”

Concerns about the brutal policing of marginalized groups have grown over the last decade. Across New Jersey, data show that a Black person is significantly more likely than a white person to have force used on them by police. In Hoboken, based on population, a Black person is 1543% more likely to have force used on them by police, according to F.B.I. data.

Attorney General Gurbir S. Grewal said this legislation was the right thing to do. “This new law codifies these efforts so these trainings remain a permanent feature of the Department, and ensures that future Administrations continue our commitment to racial justice and excellence in policing,” Grewal said.

Jersey City Approves $4 Million Toward Central Avenue Renovation

central avenue mural renovation

A contract has been approved to significantly spruce up the major retail corridor of the city’s northernmost neighborhood and the plan includes a boatload of benefits for motorists, pedestrians, and businesses alike, Jersey Digs reported.

During their last meeting, Jersey City’s council unanimously approved a resolution that paves the way for a variety of roadway improvements along Central Avenue. Nutley-based Cifelli & Son Construction was contracted for the work, which aims to improve pedestrian and vehicular traffic flow, decrease air pollution, improve aesthetics, and encourage shopping, dining, and culture along the street.

Most of the project, about $2.3 million, is being funded by aid from the New Jersey Department of Transportation. The endeavor will be executed in partnership with the Central Avenue Special Improvement District, with Cifelli & Son’s contract running for 270 calendar days, or about nine months. The Central Avenue Special Improvement District says they expect construction to start in either August or September of this year and wrap up during the spring of 2021, the article stated.

Kings Food Markets Parent Declares Bankruptcy

kings food market bankrupt

{Photo credit: @kingsfoodmarket}

The parent company of Kings Food Markets and Balducci’s Food Lover’s Market, KB US Holdings, Inc., announced it has filed for Chapter 11 proceedings in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York. The filing follows a buyout offer from New York investment firm TLI Bedrock, LLC for $75 million, Tap Into reported.

Kings was founded in 1936 with its first store in Summit, NJ, and expanded to the New York City suburbs. In 2002, the chain changed its name to Kings Food Markets. Headquartered in Parsippany, NJ Kings has stores throughout the state including Hoboken, Short Hills, Verona, Montclair, Maplewood, Livingston, Chatham, Morristown, Florham Park, and other towns. We will keep you updated as the details develop on whether or not the two Hoboken locations will be affected.

Newark Avenue in India Square Gets Design Upgrades

india square jersey city redeisgn plan

{Photo credit: Tweet from Mayor Fulop}

Jersey City’s Newark Avenue in India Square will be getting a design upgrade. “Great cities have great pedestrian spaces. We’ve been studying traffic patterns + working w/the merchants in India Square on how to re-imagine this area + make it more pedestrian-friendly. It’s long overdue. We’ll look to move forward right after Labor Day + modify as needed,” said Mayor Fulop via Twitter

Jersey City’s Midday Budget Vote Was Reportedly Designed to Avoid Public Scrutiny

jersey city budget meeting

Jersey City residents have been demanding less police spending and more social services spending through protests, demonstrations, and marathon public comment sessions at City Council meetings. But not only is the City Council preparing to adopt a budget that addresses none of its residents’ concerns; they are doing so in a special session in the middle of the day (2 p.m. Tuesday) when few members of the community will be able to attend and where amendments will be prohibited, NJ.com reported.

Advocates are calling on the Jersey City Council to do two things, move the vote on the budget to a regularly scheduled evening council meeting where the public can comment and amendments can be introduced, and to choose community investments, not community patrols by re-allocating funding from the police and toward youth and social services, affordable housing, and public health.

‘Say Their Names’ Memorial Tribute Installed in Uptown Hoboken by Local Residents

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Say Their Names Memorial is a tribute to 216 people who have lost their lives due to racial injustices and police brutality, originally created in Portland Oregon. On Friday, it appeared in Hoboken along the Maxwell Park waterfront.

Nikki Sude, a Hoboken resident, is the coordinator of this local installation. “The first Say Their Names Memorial was created earlier this summer by my friend and former boss Joy Proctor of Joy Proctor Design in Portland, Oregon. The memorial pays tribute to 216 lives taken by police brutality, injustice, and racism. Immediately after the first memorial in Portland, the idea took off.”

The memorial has now popped up in Dallas, Brooklyn, Seattle, Santa Barbara, and many more cities across the country — and now, Maxwell Place’s waterfront, which was also the starting location of the Black Lives Matter protest for George Floyd that happened in June. It will be there until September 7, 2020.

Says Nikki, “I am an event producer by trade and like many others, I have been trying to do better and use my voice, so taking on this project was a no brainer. The response from the local vendors was absolutely incredible. Everyone was eager to be a part of this installation to honor these 216 lives that were taken too soon.”

Jersey City Councilman Proposes Recreation + Education Center in Place of Old Warehouse

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Councilman Jermaine Robinson of Ward F proposed a recreation center created and located near Berry Lane Park. It would be a huge boost to one of the poorest neighborhoods in the city, according to the councilman. As it stands, Berry Lane Park doesn’t have a facility for indoor activities.

“We will have everything here,” he said, pointing to a piece of landscape that is currently occupied by the ruins of an old warehouse and rusted steel girders testifying to a long-gone industrial past, Tap Into reported.

The recreation center might become a hub of social activities, and would include several features including a rock-climbing wall, a dance studio, gym facilities, a sauna, and concessions, he said.

The two-story facility, which may be called the Frederick Douglass STEM-Recreation Center, would be 22,000-square feet that would also be home to classrooms, computer labs, and space for the arts. A partnership with the Liberty Science Center is also in the works some officials have said.

The $5.5 million cost for construction would be paid for by the developer, Robinson said. “This won’t cost Jersey City taxpayers anything.”

Residents have expressed concern for the project as it is a large building, and may cause rent to rise.

Hoboken Mayor Ravi Bhalla Says Hoboken Won’t Follow New C.D.C. Guidelines Involving Asymptomatic People

mayor bhalla cdc covid testing

Mayor Ravi Bhalla expressed sharp criticism over new COVID-19 guidelines by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention involving who should get tested for coronavirus after a possible exposure.

The new C.D.C. recommendations, released on Monday, say that an asymptomatic person does not necessarily need a coronavirus test, except if they have had more than 15 minutes of possible exposure. The previous policy said any person should get a coronavirus test after a possible exposure to coronavirus.

“This [new policy] is unequivocally not the policy in Hoboken,” Ravi Bhalla said in a tweet. “Asymptomatic spread is very real and remains a threat. If you’ve been exposed to anyone with COVID-19, our guidance in Hoboken remains the same whether you have symptoms or not – please get tested. It may end up saving lives.” Read more here.

Two Jersey City Companies Among Those Charged with Polluting Community

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Two companies in Jersey City and two in Paterson are among those targeted in a lawsuit alleging they knowingly failed to contain pollutants on their properties, thereby putting the surrounding community at risk, Tap Into reported.

Among the alleged culprits is Heba Auto Repair in Jersey City, who has been reported not to be complying with DEP orders {and have been cited for gasoline contamination, removing underground storage tanks without necessary permits, and back-filling the site with gasoline-contaminated soil} — as well as 125 Monitor Street in Jersey City, which has been cited for soil and groundwater contamination {including with arsenic, copper, lead, petroleum, PCE and TCE}.

Waterway Ferry Crew Rescues Man From River En Route To Hoboken

ny waterway ferry staycation

A NY Waterway ferry crew aboard the Empire State rescued a man from the Hudson River on Thursday morning, the third rescue in three years for Capt. David Dort and deckhands Gregorio Pages and Andrew Galarza, Patch reported.

“We were just about to back out when I saw something in the water. The deckhands deployed as we moved up and they got him out,” Capt. Dort shared with Patch. “This is why we do our drills.”

A spokesperson later added, “The crew brought the man back to Brookfield Place/Battery Park City Terminal and turned him over to NYPD.” Dort and his crew also rescued two people in 2017, right around the same location.

Jersey City Rapid Maker Response Group Donates 21,000 Face Shields to Protect Schools and Communities

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The Jersey City Rapid Maker Response Group (JCRMRG) recently launched a campaign to provide face shields to schools and to help mitigate community spread of COVID-19.  With the support of sponsors like Uber Freight, Google, Goldman Sachs, Mastercard, Uber Freight, Good 360, and ALAN Aid JCRMRG donated 21,000 face shields to school districts in New Jersey, including Newark, Jersey City, Hoboken, and New York, according to a press release.

While each school has a different opening plan, the schools still have staff on-site prior to in-person opening.  All schools receiving donations will now have enough face shields on hand to cover every staff member currently on-site, as well as all staff members when the schools officially open.  Additionally, by donating face shields to the communities in need, JCRMRG enables schools to extend their budgetary resources to support additional safe opening measures and educational resources.

“The Shield Our Schools initiative represents a very important mission for JCRMRG,” said Justin Handsman, founder of JCRMRG.  “Schools are the new front line, and it is important to protect our teachers and communities against the spread of COVID.  According to the CDC, 1 in 4 teachers have health conditions that put them in the high-risk category.  Nationally, 29 percent are over the age of 50.  By providing teachers, school nurses, administrators, food service workers, custodians, bus drivers, administrators, and all other school staff with PPE, we can help protect families, neighborhoods, and communities.”

JCRMRG is an all-volunteer group that started as a discussion on Reddit for people with 3D printers to organize to make face shields for first responders and medical workers in the New York and New Jersey area who were faced with significant shortages.  To date, JCRMRG has engaged more than 50 volunteers and has delivered more than 100,000 face shields to healthcare workers across the United States.  The group also reached a significant milestone with the ability to leverage injection molding to manufacture face shields, giving them the ability to mass-produce as many face shields as their donations support.  The group will continue to raise funds to produce face shields throughout the COVID crisis and hopes to deploy their capabilities in the form of mobile manufacturing hubs to support future humanitarian initiatives. Learn more about supporting our ongoing effort at jcrmrg.org, or contact us at donate@jcrmrg.org to inquire about making a tax-deductible contribution via the United Way.

Governor Murphy Announces Gyms Will Reopen September 1st

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Beginning September 1, gyms may reopen indoor spaces so long as they follow the required safety policies detailed in Executive Order No. 181, Executive Directive No 20-028, and the Department of Health’s guidance for health clubs/gyms/fitness centers, according to NJ.gov.

Gyms and fitness centers must institute the following policies:

  • Limit occupancy of any indoor premises to 25 percent of the stated maximum capacity, if applicable, at one time, excluding staff.
  • In addition to capacity restrictions, indoor group activities {e.g., classes} can occur but must limit to no more 1 individual per 200 square feet of accessible space or less, AND all individuals must be able to maintain a minimum of 6 feet of distance from other individuals during the entire class.
  • Conduct a temperature screening and questionnaire of staff and clients upon entrance to the facility.

For the full list of policies, click here.

Hudson County Announces An Eviction Prevention Program

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{Photo credit: @jerseycitynj}

Hudson County Executive Announces An Eviction Prevention Program, stated on the Jersey City Instagram page. The application will be available on August 24th from 8:00AM to Septemeber 2nd at 5:00PM.

The eligibility requirements state that the applicant must be a Hudson County resident, the tenant must show the need for rental assistance is due to COVID-19, the tenant must have been current on rent as of March 1st, 2020, the tenant must document their ability to pay rent after assistance is provided, and the household income must fall below the income limits listed on the flyer.

Additionally, the application must include a copy of the lease, documentation that you are facing eviction (if available), and income documentation.

Visit this website for more information and to apply.

If you are unable to apply electronically, you may visit the Hudson County Division of Welfare at 257 Cornelison Avenue in Jersey City to apply in person.

The Hoboken Food Pantry Distributed Groceries to 600+ Households on August 20th

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{Photo credit: @hobokencommunitycenter}

On August 20th, the Hoboken Food Pantry distributed groceries to over 600 households, helping to feed over 1,000 Hoboken residents.

“It truly takes so many moving parts to get distribution to run smoothly and it wouldn’t be possible without the support of the city of Hoboken, our dedicated volunteers, and all of our donors,” the Hoboken Community Center Instagram post stated.

“Today we were also lucky enough to get FRESH produce with the help of Leo Pelligrini and the county. We were able to break down the boxes and create single household bags which were then distributed to 125 seniors in applied housing,” the post continued.

The Pantry’s next distribution will be on Thursday, September 10th, 10:00AM – 1:30PM at the following locations:

  • 1301 Washington Street (Hoboken Community Center)
  • 2nd Street, between Grand + Adams (outside of the multi-service center)
  • 311 Harrison Street (Housing Authority Main Campus)

If you’re interested in volunteering you can download the Hoboken Charity Quest app.

My Feet Are Killing Me: First Steps Premieres September 10th at 10:30PM ET/PT

my feet are killing me tlc

Hoboken residents Dr. Brad Schaffer and Dr. Sarah Haller are podiatrists that will be featured on newest season TLC’s hits show “My Feet Are Killing Me.” They met while training in the Foot & Ankle Reconstructive Surgery Residency Program at Carepoint Health- Hoboken University Medical Center, Hoboken, NJ. Dr. Sarah still resides in Hoboken while Dr. Brad isn’t too far away in Weehawken. The season airs after Dr. Pimple Popper on September 10th. Take a sneak peek of the season here.

“Quarantining at home hasn’t stopped everyone’s favorite foot fixers from helping patients with their foot troubles. Dr. Brad and Dr. Ebonie are teaming up with the compassionate and intelligent Dr. Sarah Haller, who is joining the medical series and has been working alongside Dr. Brad for years, on all-new episodes of the show. In the midst of a world shutdown by COVID-19, these dynamic foot doctors pledge to help shocking podiatric cases, one video call at a time. Each 30-minute episode will follow three patients as they undergo virtual consultations to begin their journey towards surgeries that will leave their feet radically transformed and their lives changed forever. COVID toes have nothing on these cases,” the press release states.

7-Story Parking Garage and Mixed-Use Building Under Review at Jersey City Planning Board

jersey city garage building

{Photo credit: Jersey City + JCSID Power Point}

The Jersey City Planning Board will review a massive redevelopment plan for Central Avenue at tonight’s meeting, paving the way for a new parking facility, retail space, commercial space, and residential buildings. The redevelopment plan includes a multi-level parking garage and a seven-story, mixed-use building with 400 public parking spaces on Central and Cambridge avenues and Griffith and Bowers streets. The plan also calls for a 10,000-square-foot pedestrian plaza.

According to the Jersey City Division of Planning, the significance of this plan for the Heights “lies in the creation of off-street public parking,” a longstanding problem that has diminished the area’s quality of life and economic potential. Government officials anticipate the plan to free up on-street parking and revive commercial activity.

The Liberty Humane Society’s Bark in the Park Goes Virtual

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COVID-19 has brought most another event virtual this year, including Bark in the Park. If you haven’t heard of BITP, it’s usually an afternoon spent celebrating everything that makes our furry friends special — thanks to the Liberty Humane Society, raising funds for animals in need in Hudson County.

Typically, Bark in the Park takes place in Hoboken’s Church Square Park but this year they have pivoted to a virtual celebration. The event is the largest pet festival in Hudson County, bringing together animal lovers for a day of fun, food, and vendors —only this time, virtually.

This year’s event will be virtual. Join the Liberty Humane Society online on September 1st for virtual games, contests, interviews, and live updates to celebrate the outcomes you made possible. A full schedule of events and details to come.

The society’s goal is to raise 35, 000, right now donations are just under 10,000 with a month left until the campaign ends. This year’s costume contest is a virtual situation, but still just as fun! Submit your costume contest entry in advance by tagging @libertyhumanesociety and using the hashtags: #LHSBIP2020, and #BIPCOSTUME2020. The non-profit will reveal the winner during the virtual Bark in the Park on September 1st.

90-Day Fiance Alum Spotted in Jersey City

 

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90 Day Fiancé alum Molly Hopkins’ ex-husband, Luis Mendez, is getting deported back to the Dominican Republic “next month,” he confirmed in an exclusive statement to In Touch.

The reason behind his deportation is unknown, but there is speculation it is because he doesn’t have a green card, In Touch reported.

In recent weeks, he posted a photo with friends tagged in Hoboken but was posed in front of The Ashford in downtown Jersey City.

Antique Bar & Bakery Reopens

antique bar and bakery hoboken

Antique Bar & Bakery announced that they are back and firing up for pickup and delivery on Tuesday, September 1st. That is all – and we can’t wait!

VERIZZA, Opening in Hoboken this September,

Aims to Shift the Perception of Delivery Pizza

verizza pizza hoboken

Opening this September on Newark Street in Hoboken, VERIZZA aims to shift the perception of delivery pizza, proving that consumers can enjoy a gourmet pizza in the comfort of their homes at an affordable price.

Founded by Italian friends who share a common passion for food, VERIZZA’s menu represents a contemporary style of Italian pizza that combines the freshest ingredients with a strong focus on the dough, according to its owners in an email to Hoboken Girl.

Despite an emphasis on delivery, VERIZZA has invested in top European designers to capture a modern Italian vibe throughout the restaurant, creating an ideal environment in which to enjoy (or collect) a freshly baked pizza.

For all updates ahead of opening you can follow @Verizzapizza on Instagram.

Have a news tip? Email us at hello@hobokengirl.com.

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Victoria is a fourth-generation Hoboken native, BNR in the Mile Square and part-time in Jersey City. Through playing softball for fourteen years, playing the trumpet for the Hoboken High School Redwings Band, and graduating from New Jersey City University, these two cities have a special place in her heart. When she isn’t Style Assisting or volunteering at Symposia Bookstore, Hoboken Fire Museum/Hoboken Historical Museum, she’s exploring everything the Concrete Jungle has to offer. You can catch her at art exhibitions, local festivities, traveling, diving into a new book, thrifting or indulging in some form of arts and crafts.