It’s been another busy week in Hudson County and we’ve got all the headlines to get you caught up on. Among the highlights: Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop declared his plans to run for governor; another water main broke in Hoboken; and a Bayonne woman has launched a campaign to install anti-suicide measures on the Bayonne Bridge. Read on for more news you missed in Hoboken + Jersey City.
Jersey Girl Queen Latifah Joins the National Recording Registry
Newark native Queen Latifah is one of 25 artists whose work will be added to the National Recording Registry, part of the Library of Congress. According to a press release from the Library of Congress, Queen Latifah’s 1989 album All Hail the Queen will be included. Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden today named 25 recordings as audio treasures worthy of preservation for all time based on their cultural, historical or aesthetic importance in the nation’s recorded sound heritage. Queen Latifah is the first female rapper to join the National Recording Registry. Per the release, the album, her debut, showed rap could cross genres including reggae, hip-hop, house and jazz — while also opening opportunities for other female rappers.
Fire on Light Rail Disrupts Commutes for Many
A beautiful spring day was marred by smoke and chemical smells when a fire started on the light rail tracks near the Richard Street station in the Bergen-Lafayette neighborhood in Jersey City. The light rail is shut down until the fire is under control. This is a developing story. Read on for what we know.
Plans Set for St. Lucy’s in Jersey City
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The plans to redevelop historic St. Lucy’s Church, located at 619 Grove Street in Jersey City, are moving into the second phase. According to Jersey Digs, the homeless shelter will be moved to a five-story building across the street with 165 beds, supportive housing units, transitional housing units, and administrative support facilities. The church’s facade and belltower will remain intact, and 23-floor, glass-walled multifamily unit will be added on.
Hoboken Developer Storms Stage During Play at Mile Square Theatre
Recently, a new play reading about Hoboken’s storied history has debuted at The Mile Square Theatre. Titled Yuppies Invade My House at Dinnertime, the play covers the history behind the Hoboken fires in the early 1980s and how they relate to gentrification. Although the play’s one-week tenure is now finished, attendees received an unexpected surprise during last Wednesday night’s show — a Hoboken developer who is depicted in the play was in attendance and, seemingly upset, stormed the stage. Read on for more about the play and the incident at MST.
Jersey City Cannabis Board Approves 2, Adjourns 3
At a meeting on April 10th, the Jersey City Cannabis Board approved two applicants and adjourned three others, according to the Hudson County View. The two approved applicants were Seraph and Sons LLC, located at 784 Garfield Avenue and VT 420 LLC, at 840 Communipaw Avenue. Seraph and Sons has been approved by the New Jersey Regulatory Commission and plans to operate as a microdispensary. Both applicants were approved unanimously.
ReOpening Date for Uptown Hoboken Starbucks
The Uptown Hoboken Starbucks, located at 1205 Hudson Street, has announced plans to reopen on April 17th, per Patch. The store had been temporarily closed since February for renovations. A peek inside the store revealed refreshed artwork, new seating by the window, and an extended counter for ordering.
Mold Discovered in Jersey City Police Building
The East District Police Station in Jersey City, located at 207 Seventh Street, is currently undergoing mold remediation treatment. According to NJ.com, all officers and other staff assigned to the district are working out of rented trailers and other facilities. A new headquarters for the East District is under construction, while the repairs to the existing building will cost nearly $2 million to both fix the current issue and prevent it from happening again.
Governor Declares NJ a Safe Haven for Trans + Non-Binary New Jerseyians
New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy has recently taken two high-profile actions in support of transgender and non-binary New Jerseyians. Governor Murphy has announced new state resources for trans and non-binary residents, and has declared the state a “Safe Haven” for trans and non-binary people. Read on for more information about the executive order and new resources.
Mayor Steven Fulop of Jersey City Announces Plan to Run for Governor of NJ
Jersey City Mayor Steven M. Fulop (D) announced his intention not to seek re-election back in January — and now, we know why. Mayor Fulop has shared via a social media video posted this morning that he will be running for Governor of New Jersey in the 2025 election. He is currently serving his third term as mayor, a position that is not term-limited. Read on to learn more about this announcement and what it means for Jersey City government.
New Hoboken Stop Signs Part of Vision Zero Initiative
Eight new stop signs installed in Hoboken are part of the City’s Vision Zero initiative, according to a press release. The construction on April 12th furthers the City’s Vision Zero initiative to eliminate all traffic related deaths and injuries by 2030 by targeting five locations on the city’s high-crash network as well as locations near schools, parks, and senior populations.
Is Whole Foods Still Opening in Jersey City? Signage Points to Yes
As locals know good and well, the arrival of Whole Foods in Jersey City has been a marathon, to say the least. Since news broke in October 2020 that the organic retailer would be coming to Washington Street, there’s been little movement in the project’s development. Fear not, foodies: new signage has just gone up at the 286 Washington Street location, signaling that an opening date could (emphasis on the conditional) be near. Read on for the latest updates on Jersey City’s impending Whole Foods Market.
Hoboken Woman Posing as CPA Defrauds Dozens
Hoboken woman admits $1.5 million fraud scheme that targeted over 100 non-profit victims, including schools and religious institutions https://t.co/kbLYswwwM5
— NJ US Attorney (@USAO_NJ) April 6, 2023
A Hoboken woman posing as a CPA defrauded hundreds of non-profit organizations. According to a press release from the US Attorney’s Office Yezenia Castillo pled guilty to one count each of tax evasion and wire fraud. From 2012 to 2020 she defrauded over 100 victims, many of them non-profit organizations, resulting in an approximate loss of $1.5 million.
Development Project in Jersey City’s West Side to Include Affordable Housing
A recently approved redevelopment project located at 176 West Side Avenue in Jersey City will include ten affordable housing units, according to Jersey Digs. The property was owned by Congregation B’nai Jacob, and the temple’s stained glass windows have been moved to a temple in West Orange. The incoming building will be a five-story mixed use building with ground floor retail.
NYC’s Peppercorn Station Opens Location in Jersey City
NYC Chinese restaurant, Peppercorn Station, has expanded across the Hudson and opened a new location in New Jersey. Peppercorn Station brings Szechuan cuisine to downtown Jersey City in a unique, one-of-a-kind dining experience. Located at 120 Morgan Street, the new authentic restaurant recently had a soft opening and locals are already flocking to check it out. Read more about Jersey City’s Peppercorn Station.
Community Effort Launched to Prevent Suicides at Bayonne Bridge
A Bayonne widow has been joined by local officials in asking the Port Authority to install suicide prevention fences on an unprotected stretch of the Bayonne Bridge. Per NJ.com, after Edward Paradine’s January 2023 suicide, his widow Karen Paradine and son Landon Paradine have started a change.org petition to encourage preventative measures be installed at the bridge.
Jersey City Public Safety Building Opens
At a ceremony this week, Jersey City Major Steve Fulop was joined by City Council members, residents and local leaders to celebrate the opening of the new Public Safety building, according to a press release. The building is located at 4 Jackson Square and will boost public safety by centralizing Police and Fire Department operations and personnel under one roof to streamline critical services, improve 9-1-1 response times, provide one-stop resident services, and increase police presence in the area around the clock.
Digital Literacy Program Hosted by Jersey City Housing Authority
A series of events aimed at increasing residents’ digital literacy skills has been put on by a partnership between AT&T, Digitunity, and the Jersey City Housing Authority. Per Patch, the workshops allow participants to select from a range of video courses on basic digital literacy skills, including using email, accessing a web browser, remembering passwords, and cyber security.
ATV Fuel Prohibition Proposed in Jersey City
Mayor Steven M. Fulop joins Ward A Councilwoman Denise Ridley, Ward B Councilwoman Mira Prinz-Arey, and the Jersey City Police Department to announce a new law prohibiting gas stations from selling fuel to illegally operated dirt bikes and all-terrain vehicles (ATVs). The proposal to deter illegally operated ATVs was introduced at the Municipal Council meeting on Wednesday, April 12th, 2023, according to a press release.
Since June 2022, Jersey City Police Officers have responded to a staggering 100 calls for service involving dirt bikes/ATVs, 10 of which involved motor vehicle accidents. The concerning rise in illegal ATVs driving recklessly on roadways throughout the state poses a new level of danger to public safety, especially pedestrians, drivers, and riders.
“We have been working closely with our Police Department as this issue has become increasingly alarming, and our residents are being put in harm’s way due to reckless ATV drivers,” said Mayor Fulop. “This is a necessary deterrent as part of our broader, multi-layered efforts that have substantially improved safety on our roadways citywide.”
Another Water Main Break in Hoboken
Another water main break occurred in Hoboken. According to a Nixle alert from the City, on Monday April 10th, a water main broke near 233 Clinton Street. Clinton Street was closed from First Street to Third Street during the repair process. The #126 NJ Transit bus was diverted from Clinton Street and ran only on Washington Street.
Fired Jersey City Police Officer Fights for Job
In February 2022, Jersey City Police Officer Edwin Hernandez struck a pedestrian while responding to an emergency call. According to NJ.com, Officer Hernandez was recently fired because of the incident. Through an attorney, Officer Hernandez said he plans to fight the City’s decision to terminate him.
Hoboken Teachers Get Training to Keep Students on Track
Hoboken teachers received training in the science of reading through a program called Orton-Gillingham to help students get and stay at their grade’s reading level. Per Patch, the effort was spearheaded by Sandra Rodriguez-Gomez, the assistant superintendent of schools, and Christy Gaudio, a response to intervention instructor. The effort to train Hoboken teachers began last fall, and now 100% of K-2 teachers have been trained, as well as all of the district’s reading specialists, K-5 special education teachers, a core group of special education resource room teachers, and one lead teacher in the 3rd, 4th and 5th grades in each of its elementary schools.
Celebration at HoLa Hoboken Dual Language Charter School
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For the first time since the pandemic, the community of the HoLa Hoboken Dual Language Charter School celebrated its diversity at HOLA’s Noche Internacional. Per Patch, the night of April 1st was a chance for families to share their native cultures with one another. Students were able to visit 25 countries and get their ‘passports’ stamped throughout the evening.
NJ Transit Announces Bring-a-Friend Promo
🌸 🌻 💐 Take a spring break and bring a friend on us! NJ TRANSIT is offering a new and exciting deal that allows customers to receive a free round-trip for a traveling companion with the purchase of a round-trip. Learn more at https://t.co/vMuqMQXw4y! pic.twitter.com/FFwJ6qMm6T
— NJ TRANSIT (@NJTRANSIT) April 12, 2023
NJ Transit has announced a special promotion for passengers to bring a friend for free. According to a press release from the transit agency, from now until April 23rd, fares with the same origin and destination are buy one, get one free.
Jersey City Non-Profit Recognized
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Pamela Johnson, the founder of the Anti-Violence Coalition of Hudson County was selected to receive the 2023 Russ Berrie Making a Difference Award, according to a press release from the organization. According to its website, “the Anti-Violence Coalition of Hudson County is committed to preventing violence in our community. We believe that every person has the right to live in peace and safety, free from fear of violence.”
Agreement Reached Between NJCU and Teachers Union
An 11-page memorandum of understanding has been signed by teachers’ union and school leaders at NJCU, according to NJ.com. The school is facing both a large budget deficit and upcoming budget cuts. The school has requested more money from the state. It is hoped that the MOU will bring stability to both school leadership and the faculty moving forward.
Jersey City Cannabis Lounge One Step Closer to Opening
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The Other Side, a cannabis dispensary and lounge located at 36 Congress Street, is one step closer to opening after a favorable vote by the city’s planning board, according to Jersey Digs. The Other Side is owned by Alyza Brevard-Rodriquez, who military veteran. The total space of the facility is over 3,000 square feet and will have a small retail space in addition to the cannabis consumption lounge.
Hoboken Spring Arts Festival Announced
The Hoboken Spring Arts Festival was announced for Sunday, May 7th via a press release from the City. The festival, featuring displays and sales by artists, crafters, food vendors, and local businesses, will occur on Washington Street between Observer Highway and Seventh Street.
“I am thrilled to once again invite residents to the Hoboken Spring Arts & Music Festival,” said Mayor Ravi S. Bhalla. “I encourage everyone to come listen to live musical performances and peruse the talented artists, crafters, and food vendors. Thank you to our sponsors for working with my Administration to make this family-friendly, time-honored tradition possible once again.”
There will also be two stages of live musical performances located on Washington Street between Newark Street and Observer Highway and on Washington Street between Sixth Street and Seventh Street.
This year Joe McGinty and The Loser’s Lounge will close out the festival on the Observer Highway stage playing favorite songs and deep cuts from the incredible catalog of The Kinks, and the songwriting genius of Ray Davies.
Earth Day at the Hoboken Historical Museum
On Saturday, April 22nd, the Hoboken Historical Museum will celebrate Earth Day with an event celebrating legendary writer and environmentalist Edward Abbey, who lived in Hoboken from 1956 to 1963. Per Patch, four writers will discuss Abbey’s work. After an intermission, two short environmental documentaries will be shown. The event is free, and more information is available on the Museum’s website.
City of Hoboken Announces Survey for 800 Monroe Resiliency Park
The City of Hoboken announced a survey to gather public feedback on three concept designs for the 800 Monroe Resiliency Park, which were unveiled at a public meeting on April 13th, according to a press release. Public input collected from the meeting and online survey will be utilized by the design team to refine the concepts and create two new design alternatives that will be presented to the public later this summer.
To take the online survey, go to https://arcg.is/1S101S . The survey is scheduled to close on April 27th at 6PM.
The three concept designs include a combination of active and passive amenities. The project team created the three concept designs guided by public feedback from stakeholders, a previous community meeting, and 1,837 survey responses. 64 percent of respondents said they wanted a mixture of passive and active space. The top five active space amenities included a swimming pool, playground, walking track, tennis courts, and pickleball courts, while the top five passive space amenities included trees and gardens, open lawn space, café, spray area, and plaza.
Concept one includes a playground, walking paths, two tennis courts with eight pickleball courts, a dog run, a spray fountain, trees, open lawn space, a plaza, picnic areas, restrooms, and a café. The second concept includes a community pool, a playground, trees, open lawn space, a plaza, picnic areas, restrooms, and a café. The third concept includes an Olympic-size swimming pool, playground, trees, open lawn space, a plaza, picnic areas, restrooms, and a café.
For more information on 800 Monroe Resiliency Park and to view the presentation on the three concept designs, go to hobokennj.gov/800monroe.
New York Waterway Proposal for Union Dry Dock Site Fails to Advance
A proposal from the New York Waterway (NYWW) company failed to advance after an April 11th meeting of the Hoboken Planning Board. Per TapInto, the NYWW wants to use the space as a maritime industrial facility for the operation of a ferry, maintenance, and docking base for a fleet of ferries used in cross-Hudson transportation. However, the application was missing a Neighborhood Impact Report and is incomplete for now.
Chair of the Hudson County Board of Commissioners Resigns
The Chair of the Hudson County Board of Commissioners resigned this week, stating his intention to run for a commissioner seat in his hometown of North Bergen. According to the Hudson County View, Anthony Vainieri was in the middle of his seventh term on the Hudson County Board of Commissioners. Bob Baselice, the executive director of the North Bergen Parking Authority, is predicted to get appointed to Vainieri’s vacant seat by the Democratic committee members of the 8th District.
New Trains on PATH Delivered at Hoboken Station
Next week, @PATHTrain will put the first of 72 brand-new cars into service. The new cars are part of the agency’s $1B PATH Improvement Plan to expand capacity, reduce delays, and enhance the customer experience. To learn more, read ➡️https://t.co/mQaK8ekNR2 pic.twitter.com/B6nb1rLSXI
— Port Authority of NY & NJ (@PANYNJ) April 13, 2023
The first of 72 new PATH train cars were delivered this week, debuting at the Hoboken station, according to a press release from the Port Authority. The new high-performance rail cars will supplement the current fleet of 350 and will be gradually integrated into the system throughout 2023 and into 2024, marking an increase of more than 20 percent in rolling stock. The addition of the 72 new cars will also supplement the implementation of PATH’s new 9-car trains in service on the Newark to World Trade Center line, and by the beginning of 2024, nearly all trains on this line will be 9-car trains at peak times.
Blood Drives Announced In Hudson County
The New Jersey Blood Services, a division of New York Blood Center, have announced a few upcoming blood drives in Hudson County. According to Patch, the upcoming blood drives will be:
May 1st, 2023 Immaculate Conception Church, 780 Post Place, Secaucus 1PM-7PM
May 12th 2023 Newport Centre Mall ‑ Sears Wing, 30 Mall Drive West, Jersey City 1PM-7PM
May 26th, 2023 Newport Centre Mall ‑ Sears Wing, 30 Mall Drive West, Jersey City 1PM-7PM
For more information, visit: www.nybloodcenter.org
RWJBarnabas Health Recognizes Black Maternal Health Week
Per Patch, RWJBarnabas Health Recognizes Black Maternal Health Week, which takes place from April 11th-17th, 2023. As part of RWJBarnabas Health’s support for Black Maternal Health Week 2023, several events are planned at facilities across the system over the coming week, including special resources and education available for staff on topics such as the importance of Doulas and the risk of hypertension during pregnancy and the post-partum period.
Mixed-use Project Approved in Jersey City
A mixed-use project at 511 Newark Avenue in Jersey City was approved, according to Jersey Digs. The parcel currently houses E. Pompilio & Sons, a defunct business that manufactured headstones. The lot has a small, one-story building and dozens of headstones. It will become a five-story building with 40 studio apartments and retail on the ground floor.