This cold weather is a good match for enjoying a hot drink and catching up on the headlines. Among the highlights: Jersey City beauty spot Suite Tee announces an expansion; Hoboken St. Patrick’s Day festivities are announced; and Jersey City leaders traveled to Paris to meet about the Pompidou Center. Read on for more.
HG Readers Raise $1,000 for Wise Animal Rescue
Beau, the 2023 winner of the HG Puppy Bowl
The Hoboken Girl’s Puppy Bowl is a favorite event around here, and while one lucky pup is crowned the winner, we know all the good boys and girls who were nominated are all winners. Thanks to contest participants and other supporters, the HG Puppy Bowl raised $1,000 for Wise Animal Rescue. Wise Animal Rescue is an animal rescue organization that helps animals regardless of breed or age. To learn more about volunteering, fostering, or adopting, please visit the Rescue’s website. Thank you to all readers and supporters who donated!
Jersey City Schools Expand E-Sports Programs
The Jersey City Board of Education voted to dedicate $1 million in funding to expand e-sports programs in the district, per NJ.com. The money will go toward increasing equipment and training in all grade levels, and creating dedicated gaming spaces in school buildings. Supporters say that while e-sports are a growing sector of the technology industry, they are also a way for students to work on strategy, planning, and other skills.
Hoboken High School Mock Trial Team Wins Championship
For the third time, the Hoboken High School Mock Trial team has come away from the Hudson County Mock Trial finals as the champions. According to a press release from the school, the competition aims to promote a better understanding of the law, court procedures, and the justice system. The competition is hosted by the Hudson County Bar Association and Hudson County Bar Foundation.
Jersey City Fire Chief to Retire
Jersey City Fire Chief Steven McGill will retire at the end of February, according to NJ.com. Chief McGill became a firefighter in 1987 and before being promoted to Chief, had served as a deputy chief and battalion chief, assistant fire director, and department liaison to the city’s Office of Emergency Management. Deputy Chief Henry DiGuilio will become the acting Chief.
New Jersey Senate Education Committee Discusses “Student Mental Health Days” Bill
A 2022 proposal allowing students absences for mental health was taken up again this week by the New Jersey Senate Education Committee, per NJ.com. The bill, S2151, would allow students five excused absences per year for mental or behavioral health reasons. Similar bills have been passed in 12 other states. This bill is sponsored by Sen. Richard Codey (D-Essex) and Sen. Joe Cryan (D-Union), and was discussed in a committee meeting on Thursday, February 23rd.
Hoboken Panera Changes to Takeout-Only Model
The Hoboken Panera, located at 310 Washington Street, will no longer offer dine-in service, per Patch. The move was announced after a dispute among customers that resulted in chairs being thrown across the restaurant. Staff say that in addition to increased rowdy behavior, needles have also been found in the restroom. The restaurant will remain open for takeout.
NJ Congressman Raises the Alarm on Toll Increases
At a press event on Thursday, February 23rd, Congressman Josh Gottheimer raised the alarm over the possibility of increased tolls for Hudson River crossings as a result of an MTA Congestion Tax proposal. Congressman Gottheimer is a co-sponsor of the recently proposed Anti-Congestion Tax Act with New York Republican Congressman Mike Lawler and New Jersey Republican Congressman Jeff Van Drew. The MTA Congestion Tax would add an additional burden to commuters and challenge funding for other capital improvement projects, he said.
Hoboken St. Patrick’s Day – What’s the Story?
St. Patrick’s Day is right around the corner and this year, Hoboken residents and visitors will have several opportunities to celebrate the holiday. Over the years, the reputation of Hoboken St. Patrick’s Day has become legendary – albeit somewhat controversial. What was once a day that celebrated a 26-year tradition and hosted NJ’s biggest parade, turned into a day filled with arrests, public drunkenness, and chaos for law enforcement. Some say the celebrations had gotten out of hand, while others miss the Hoboken St. Patty’s Day festivities. There are several events taking place in 2023 – some sponsored by the town or local businesses, and some that are organized by a third party founded in Hoboken. Read on for more.
Jersey City Still Searching for Port Liberte Ferry Vendor
The Jersey City Council has rejected bids from two ferry operators as being too expensive, per NJ.com. The City is still searching for a vendor to provide ferry service to and from Port Liberte, which it acquired from developer Ironstate last year in an attempt to improve services. The two denied bids were from New York Waterway (NYWW) and New York Cruise Line (NYCL). NYWW is the current operator but had to shut down service because of low ridership after a trial period last fall.
City of Hoboken Announces ‘My Way’ Singing Competition
The City of Hoboken has announced the ‘My Way’ Singing Competition, to be held on Thursday, June 22nd at 6:30PM at Sinatra Park. Performers will compete for the title of Best Sinatra-Style singer. The contest is hosted by the Department of Cultural Affairs, and participants are welcome to sign up by emailing Geraldine Fallo, Administrator of Cultural Affairs, at email@example.com
Physique 57 Opens March 4th in Hoboken
Boutique fitness studio Physique 57 is opening in Hoboken on March 4th. Founded in 2005 by Jennifer Maanavi, and Tanya Becker, Physique 57 is an international fitness and media company that provides low impact, high intensity barre workout programs. Lucky for us, its newest franchise is coming soon to the heart of downtown Hoboken at 104 Hudson Street. Whether you’re a newbie to the barre scene or an experienced member, you’ll be led by world-class trainers to motivate and inspire you through dynamic movement sequences and invigorating music. Read on for more about this exciting workout.
House Fire Claims Jersey City Man, Dog
A house fire in downtown Jersey City on February 19th has resulted in the death of a resident and his dog, according to a press release from the Hudson County Prosecutor’s Office. The fire does not appear to be suspicious but the office welcomes tips. Per Patch, the victim was 50-year-old Scot Rienecker, an actor and artist who lived alone with his dog Tiberius, who also died.
Jersey City Beauty Spot Suite Tee to Expand
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Suite Tee, located at 127 Newark Avenue in Jersey City, is expanding. In an email to customers, owner Tee Hundley announced that the nail, wax, and spray tan salon would be taking over another space at its current location, making a larger footprint on the 3rd floor. Suite Tee will also be opening a Brow Bar on Grove Street across from the PATH Station later this spring. Suite Tee was voted the best eyebrow place and the best spray tan in Jersey City by HG readers in our 2022 Best Of poll.
Cliffside Development Proposed in Jersey City
Per Jersey Digs, a developer has shared plans for an eight-story development located at 152 Ogden Avenue in The Heights. The building would take the place of an empty lot and be 14 residential units with a 14-space parking garage on the ground. Plans also include a rooftop deck.
Plans Revealed for Meadowlands Development, Part of World Cup 2026 Preparations
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The business leaders behind the Meadowlands 2026 World Cup bid have revealed plans to redevelop the site of the former Izod Center, according to NJ.com. The plans include a 460,000-square-foot convention center and hotels to accommodate convention-related events. Organizers want the ambitious plans to be completed by the time the World Cup comes around in 2026.
Critics of Essex-Hudson Greenway Point out Costs, Delays
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According to the New Jersey Monitor, critics of the ambitious Essex-Hudson Greenway project are beginning to sound the alarm on the project’s excessive costs and delays. They point out that the incredible costs to merely acquiring the property will delay any meaningful development, and that the project has become a magnet for pay-to-play lobbying. Others pointed out the challenges of cleaning up industrial debris from its original life as a railroad route.
Murder Charges in Death of Jersey City Teacher
The Hudson County Prosecutor’s Office announced murder charges against two suspects in the death of a Jersey City teacher. Luz Hernandez was reported missing in early February after she didn’t show up for work. Her body was found on February 7th. Her estranged husband, Cesar Santana, has been charged with murder and is in custody. A search for his accomplice, Leiner Miranda Lopez, is still underway. This investigation is active and ongoing. Additional charges and/or arrests may be expected. Anyone with information is asked to contact the Office of the Hudson County Prosecutor at 201-915-1345 or to leave an anonymous tip at: https://www.hudsoncountyprosecutorsofficenj.org/homicide-tip/
Jersey City Mayor Leads Delegation on Paris Visit
Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop along with other local leaders went to Paris last week. In a statement to the Hudson County View, city spokeswoman Kimberly Wallace-Scalcione said: “Paris and Jersey City officials and experts covered important decision-making topics ranging from the schematic design of the Pathside building to the featured collections and acquisitions of masterpieces for the Jersey City location.” She also noted the trip was not taxpayer-funded but did not get into specifics. Sources tell the Jersey City Times that the trip was not publicized and only spoke anonymously.
Expedited TSA Hiring Event at Newark Airport
According to a press release from the agency, the TSA at Newark Airport will be holding an expedited hiring event on February 27th and 28th. The Agency is hiring Federal Air Marshals at the Newark Liberty Airport Marriott. Subsidized hotel parking will be available for applicants.
Sentencing in 2014 Jersey City Political Murder
Jersey City resident and City Council candidate Michael Galdieri was found dead in his burning Jersey City home in 2014, and this week one of his killers was sentenced to 20 years in prison for the crime, per the New Jersey Monitor. Bomani Africa and another man, Michael Bratsenis, were hired by political consultant Sean Caddle, a former friend and business associate of Michael Galdieri. During the sentencing phase of the trial, new details about the arrangement were revealed, including how the crime was planned. Michael Galdieri’s father, State Sen. James Galdieri, was well-known in New Jersey politics and had served as an attorney to both the Hoboken and Jersey City Housing Authorities, per Patch.
American Dream Waterpark Closed After Structural Issues Result in Injuries
The waterpark at American Dream Mall in East Rutherford is closed for the foreseeable future after a decorative helicopter fell into the pool, per NJ.com. Four people were hurt during the incident, and the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs’ construction office has declared the building to be an unsafe structure. An investigation is underway following the February 19th incident.
New Bar, The Alps, To Open in The Heights this Summer
A bar with a vegetarian menu and an emphasis on high-quality beer, wine, and spirits is opening this summer in The Heights. The Alps, located at 351 Palisade Avenue in Jersey City, is another project from the team behind Pet Shop and Riverview Wine and Spirits. The Hoboken Girl caught up with one of the owners to get all the information. Read on for more.
Construction Delays at NY Penn Station Could Impact Commuters
Per northjersey.com, delays in construction to improve NY Penn Station will result in more headaches for commuters. The wide-ranging improvement plans will not begin for another two years, according to the developer. The delays in beginning construction could impact the funding for the project, a claim that NY Governor Kathy Hochul denied. But, part of the plan includes an expanded and modernized train station and an additional 12 tracks for commuter trains, which many say are needed changes.
PDFNJ Launches New Campaign to Raise Awareness about Children’s Use of Social Media
The Partnership for a Drug-Free New Jersey (PDFNJ) recently announced a new campaign to increase awareness about children’s use of social media as well as include information on the dangers of fentanyl, dentists prescribing opioids for wisdom tooth pain, and the impacts marijuana can have on an adolescent’s developing brain. US Surgeon General Vivek Murthy recently reiterated a warning that children join social media too early and believe they should only be allowed to access platforms once they reach age 16, as social media has been shown to have a direct impact on adolescents’ mental health. This statement comes on the heels of the Surgeon General’s report released last year warning of a growing mental health crisis among young people. All of PDFNJ’s public service announcements can be found on New Jersey Transit buses, trains, PATH trains, bus shelters and billboards throughout the state.
Community Feedback Sought for Future of Hoboken Multi-Service Center
Per TapInto, a public meeting will be held on Thursday, March 2nd to discuss the future of the Hoboken Multi-Service Center. The City wants to update the 40,000-square-foot building, which currently houses several City offices and public recreation facilities. The meeting will be at 6:30PM in the Senior Room at the Multi-Service Center, which is located at 124 Grand Street.
Plans Approved for New Academic Tower in Journal Square
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Per Jersey Digs, plans were approved for an 11-story academic building in Journal Square. The building will be located at 14 Enos Place and be a part of the Hudson County Community College (HCCC) Campus. There will be state-of-the-art classrooms in addition to NCAA-caliber athletic facilities. Hudson County has committed $35 million to the project and received a $2 million grant from the federal government.
Three Jersey City Men Arrested on Federal Drug, Firearm Charges
Three Hudson County men charged with narcotics and firearms related offenses inside Jersey City apartment building https://t.co/PPnQrBTnDC
— NJ US Attorney (@USAO_NJ) February 17, 2023
A search of a Bergen-Lafayette apartment has resulted in the arrest of three Jersey City men on federal drug and firearm charges, according to a press release from the US Attorney’s Office. Officers began observing the defendants in January 2023 and the search was performed in February 2023. This investigation was conducted as part of the Jersey City Violent Crime Initiative (VCI). The VCI was formed in 2018 by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of New Jersey, the Hudson County Prosecutor’s Office, and the Jersey City Police Department, for the sole purpose of combatting violent crime in and around Jersey City. Several federal agencies participated in this investigation, including Homeland Security Investigations (HSI).
Jersey City Opens New Fairmount Park
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On Friday, February 24th, Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop, along with leaders from the community as well as members of the City Council and the Jersey City Parks Coalition, announced the opening of Fairmount Park, located at the intersection of Fairmount and Summit Avenues. Per a press release, the park was redeveloped after a series of community meetings and roadway studies. The City designed a plan that gives children and residents safer access to the park. By reconstructing two small portions of the roadway, the once triangle-shaped lot surrounded by cut-through streets was reconfigured to create one cohesive public park space. Additionally, the entire design acts in furtherance of the City’s Vision Zero and sustainability goals.
Neon Nights at Stevens Institute
On Friday, March 3rd, the campus of Stevens Institute will be aglow. The campus, located at 1 Castle Point Terrace, is the site of the inaugural Neon Nights celebration, an event aimed at bringing awareness of mental health to the forefront of campus conversations. The event is hosted in partnership with the JED Foundation, an organization committed to protecting emotional health and preventing suicide for teens and young adults. Read on to learn more about this special event and how to get involved.