All the News You Missed in Hoboken + Jersey City This Week

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Hudson County, we hope you are staying strong as we continue to shelter in place due to coronavirus. We’re rounding up the most crucial COVID-19 related headlines as well as some other local news that’s worth catching up on from this past week. Let’s start with the latest COVID-9 updates in Hoboken + Jersey City:

  • – As of April 26th, Hoboken now has 473 positive COVID-19 cases according to the latest Nixle alert; and Jersey City has 4,637 — you can track Jersey City’s numbers daily here.
  • – Over 100 residents have made full recoveries, with most confirmed cases falling in the 31-40 demographic. Two of the confirmed cases in Mile Square are children under 16.
  • – In Hoboken, 23 people have died from COVID-19 as of April 26th. All of the people who have passed have been 51 years and older.
  • – Jersey City has seen 260 total deaths, which range from age 16 to 75+ years of age.
  • – Prompt MD is offering COVID-19 testing at 309 1st Street. Schedule a tele-visit for a pre-COVID-19 test screening here.
  • – Riverside Medical Group has opened an appointment-only testing center in North Hoboken for all of the city’s residents and is now offering rapid 15-minute testing — call 201-602-7888-420-5621 to book an appointment.
  • – Two pet cats in different parts of New York State have tested positive for SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes coroanvirus, according to Live Science. These cats have become the first domesticated pets to test positive for the virus and are expected to recover. It is thought that the cats either caught the virus from their owners or from other people throughout the neighborhood. One of the cats’ owners tested positive for coronavirus before the cat did. In the other case, there was no confirmed human case of coronavirus.
  • Every night at 7:00PM, join the Hoboken Girl team in showing our gratitude for those working on the frontlines of this pandemic — doing a Hoboken + JC wide clap. Get more information here – we pick a song nightly.
  • Find more of the latest local + statewide updates on our daily updates page.

Ready to read up on the local headlines from earlier this week? Keep reading!

Ani Ramen Launches Non-Profit Food Pop-Ups, Rock City Pizza Co. and Bang Bang Chicken

ani ramen be awesome feed someone popup

{Photo credit: @beawesomefeeds}

Montclair Hospitality Group, owners of the Ani Ramen House, have launched short-term non-profit pop-up take-out and delivery concepts, available at each of their four Ani Ramen locations. Rock City Pizza Co. and Bang Bang Chicken are a part of #BeAwesomeFeedSomebody, which seeks to give back by providing take-out and delivery at lower price points.

Rock City Pizza Co., which launched in Jersey City on Friday, serves Detroit-style pizzas for $11 to $13. A $6 donation, according to the press release, buys a free pizza for someone in need. Bang Bang Chicken serves rotisserie chicken for $15 to $19; an additional $8 will buy someone a free chicken meal.

These non-profit pop-ups are temporary “solutions” to the COVID-19 situation. Patrons are encouraged to add a little something extra {a donation of $6 to $8 dollars} to cover a donated meal for someone who needs it.

These non-profit pop-ups are expected to also launch at Ani Ramen’s Montclair location in May and Maplewood and Summit locations in June.

Who Will Fill Councilman Michael Yun’s Vacant Seat?

jersey city coronavirus updates

In the wake of Councilman Michael Yun, 65, dying of complications due to coronavirus on April 6th, Jersey City is looking to fill his now-vacant seat. Several potential candidates have thrown their hat in the ring, though whoever fills the position will have to run for reelection for the rest of Yun’s term {until 2021} come November.

Sean Conners, former state assemblyman for the 33rd District from 2012 to 2015, is one such contender. According to NJ.com, Ward C Council Richard Boggiano, who was a close friend of Yun’s, says Connors was Yun’s “choice for his replacement.”

Connors ran a campaign against Yun in 2013.

“I spoke to Michael Yun’s son and his family, they agree, and they said that his father wished that too. I think Sean has been there and is well known throughout Ward D,” Boggiano said. “He is very popular and is a good community person. Thinks the same way I do, and the same way Michael Yun did and many of us think.”

Others that are vying for Yun’s Ward D seat include Cynthia Hadjiyannis — Yun’s former campaign manager from 2013 — and Patrick Ambrossi — Yun’s volunteer coordinator from 2013.

Jersey City Council has 30 days to select a Ward D seat replacement. That’s 30 days from April 6th, the day Yun passed.

Billboards of Gratitude Go Up Thanks to Kearny Point and Artists Eve Biddle and Josh Frankel

kearny point thank you billboards kearny

{Photo courtesy of Victoria Woodside}

A new public art project shows appreciation for essential workers working hard to fight and treat COVID-19 on the frontlines. Creative office Kearny Point commissioned artists Eve Biddle and Josh Frankle to design and create three 48-foot wide digital billboards that applaud and thank essential workers.

You can find the billboard images from Truck Route 1/9 between Newark and Jersey City.

Four Charged With Violating COVID-19 State of Emergency After Throwing Party

jersey city police nj

A party thrown in a Jersey City Airbnb has resulted in four people being charged with violating the COVID-19 State of Emergency.

Isaiah M. George, 33, and Jabril Corley, 28, both of Jersey City were charged with violating emergency orders. Megan Stoddart, 29, of Howell, was also charged, New Jersey Attorney General Gurbir Grewal confirmed. Police found 15 people inside the apartment, which was rented from Airbnb.

Corley racked up an additional charge for disorderly conduct, and another man, Marc. Y. Bruny, 33, of Jersey City, was also charged with disorderly conduct.

An emergency order violation can carry up to six months in jail and a $1,000 fine.

New Jersey Proposes Emergency Rental Assistance Program

emergency rental assistance program

State Senate introduced the 2020 New Jersey Emergency Rental Assistance Program earlier this week, Jersey Digs reports. The Emergency Rental Assistance Program would help tenants who have experienced “financial setbacks” during the coronavirus outbreak pay their rent.

The bill, S-2332, gives priority to low and moderate-income residents and would make a $100 million fund from federal grants from the coronavirus relief bill. The rest of the money would come from the state’s general fund.

S-2332 now goes to a vote by New Jersey’s State Assembly, though no upcoming voting session has been announced at this time.

While the Federal government recently passed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act to ease financial pain as the COVID-19 pandemic drags on, New Jersey’s state legislators are looking to pass a bill that could help tenants that are struggling to pay their rents.

If passed, S-2332 would take effect immediately.

Jersey City Police Respond to Two Separate Gunfire Incidents Last Friday

police

On Friday, April 17th, Jersey City police responded to two separate reports of gunfire. The first occurred at 2:30PM on Friday, when police responded to reports of shots fired near Myrtle Avenue and Martin Luther King Drive. Thirty minutes later, another call for shots fired near Logan Avenue had police responding to the scene.

At approximately 2:30PM, police responded to reports of shots fired in the area of Myrtle Avenue and Martin Luther King Drive. Some 30 minutes later, the police were dispatched to Logan Avenue, in the Marion section, on another report of shots fired. According to Jersey City spokeswoman Kimberly Wallace-Scalcione, no injuries were reported.

These shootings, however, may not be random. According to NJ.com, in the past, police have identified both areas as hubs for a gang called “300,” which operates from Marion Gardens.

Napoli’s Pizza Asks Patrons to Order Directly From Mom and Pop Shops

napolis order directly

Napoli’s Pizza in Hoboken is asking potential customers to consider ordering from them {and other local businesses} directly rather than using third-party apps like Seamless, Delivery.com, and Grubhub.

“During these tough times, it is crucial that our local residents really take a positive and proactive stance to continue to push forward,” a note from the Napoli’s staff reads. “This town is built upon the little mom & pop shops that so many from across the world come to OUR town to eat. PLEASE! We are asking all of our customers to show their support by ORDERING DIRECTLY THROUGH US for take-out and/or delivery by calling… or ordering through our website… instead of using third party platforms such as GRUBHUB/SEAMLESS, which takes 25 percent commission from every order, and DELIVERY.com.”

The request from Napoli’s also comes just a few weeks after local Grubhub drivers were caught in a scam in which they registered to pick-up food from restaurants, reported the food as delivered {though they never picked it up}, and took the tips directly from the app.

Fire in Greenville Leaves 3 Jersey City Residents Displaced

jersey city fire department

A one-alarm fire in the early morning hours of Friday, April 17th has left three Greenville residents displaced, according to NJ.com. Firefighters responded to the fire on the first floor of a two-story duplex around 12:33AM.

The blaze broke out at 408 Cator Avenue in the Greenville section of Jersey City, but was contained to the first floor. Three residents had evacuated themselves before firefighters arrived, but due to fire, smoke, and water damage, those residents have been relocated by the American Red Cross.

No injuries have been reported.

NYPD Saves Man From Jumping Off Bayonne Bridge

The New York Police Department Emergency Service Unit saved the life of a man who threatened to jump off the Bayonne Bridge on April 14th. The Bayonne Bridge temporarily closed down due to a report of a man sitting on the railing. Port Authority Police received the call around 11:30AM and NYPD ESU, Bayonne Police, a Bayonne negotiator, Port Authority Police, Port Authority ESU, NYPD Aviation, and EMS were dispatched to the site.

“NYPD ESU saved the life of a male threatening to jump from the Bayonne Bridge,” @NYPDSpecialops tweeted. “The male sat on the ledge high above the water. He was safely taken into custody and transported to an area hospital for evaluation.”

Sage Pizza Coming Soon to Jersey City

sage pizza jersey city

{Photo credit: @sage.pizza}

It looks like a new spot called Sage Pizza could soon be coming to the vacant locale at 485 Marin Boulevard in Jersey City. Self-described as a “healthy, trendy pizza place” on their official Twitter account, Sage Pizza also seems to have a website under construction and an Instagram that has only uploaded one post to date their logo.

Agile Urgent Care Opens New COVID-19 Testing Site at American Dream

coronavirus testing hoboken

A new coronavirus testing site has opened up at the American Dream. Agile Urgent Care opened the testing program earlier this week and is sorting through potential patients via telehealth consultations. To book a telehealth consultation, you can visit their website and click “Start Televisit.” If you have any questions, you can call 201-381-4800 or email info@agileurgentcare.com.

If your televisit shows that you are eligible for a coronavirus test, you will then receive an SMS text and email with a location, date, and time for your appointment.

Groove on Grove Concerts Now Held on Facebook Live

groove on grove at home

The Historic Downtown Special Improvement District is providing an important update on the Groove on Grove concert series. Amidst the coronavirus outbreak, the event will take place every Wednesday at 4:00PM Groove on Grove: At Home on Facebook Live.

There will also be a $100 gift card giveaway during each Wednesday concert and if you’re interested in providing the gift card to one lucky winner, email Rachel at rachel.hdsid@gmail.com.

Proposed Tax That Would Fund Arts in Jersey City Being Cut

budget sid

Following the economic fallout of the coronavirus pandemic, a cut to a tax that was proposed to fund “the arts in Jersey City” is being cut, according to NJ.com. “Mayor Steven M. Fulop announced Wednesday he is proposing the City Council withdraw November’s referendum allowing voters to decide on the establishment of an Arts and Culture Trust Fund,” NJ.com wrote.

“The tax would have amounted to two cents per $100 of assessed value,” NJ.com reported. The tax would have gone towards the benefit and support fine arts, graphic design, arts initiatives, and more arts-related programs.

Empire Coffee & Tea in Hell’s Kitchen Closes After Over A Century in Business — Hoboken Location Still Open

Lovers of Empire Coffee & Tea, we’ve got some sad news. The Hell’s Kitchen location on 9th Avenue is closing after over 100 years of operation, according to Patch.comIt officially closed on Friday, April 24th, according to W42st. But do rest assured, the Hoboken location at 338 Bloomfield Street will remain open.

Jersey City Cancels Its 4th of July Fireworks Festival, Postpones to 2021

jersey city exchange place fireworks 4th of july

In the latest local coronavirus-related updates, Jersey City has announced that it will cancel its 4th of July Fireworks Festival and postpone the event until 2021. In a tweet from Friday, April 24th, Mayor Steven Fulop said, “We’ve directed all of our 4th of July Sponsors that instead of supporting our #July4th Festival which we’ve grown to be the largest firework show in NJ w/world class talent + 150k attendees – we asked sponsors to give to #JerseyCity Covid Relief Fund to help residents recover.” Get the full story here.

Western Hoboken Might Be Getting a Public Space With Swimming Pool — But It’s Causing Some Tension

hudson county swimming pools summer

HMag reports that a swimming pool in Western Hoboken may be in the works. The swimming pool is now part of the 11-acre Hoboken western Edge development plan that was originally introduced in 2015 and was passed by City Council in a 7-2 vote last week. The amendment to the plan includes a 216-foot hotel in northwest Hoboken and potentially, a pool.

According to HMag, the developer and the City have decided to “amend the Redevelopment Plan in an effort to create opportunities for the construction of public recreation space, including a public swimming pool,” though there are no official plans as of yet.

While some City Council members expressed concern about the plan, citing a lack of an economic analysis around the height, they are hardly the only ones.

NJ.com reported that tension between Hoboken and neighbors Jersey City + Union City started on Thursday after Hoboken’s City Council amended said redevelopment plan for a northwestern section of the city, allowing developers to add 50 feet to a hotel in exchange for financial support for a new community center.

In a Facebook post that has since been deleted, JC Mayor Steven Fulop said that he and Union City Mayor Brian Stack would file a lawsuit over the change, as the taller buildings in Hoboken would block views from the residents of  Jersey City Heights and Union City.

“This project will go well above the Palisade Cliff line,” Fulop wrote. “There was no impact analysis, there are procedural issues, and overall – it is really unconscionable to sneak a massive zoning change during a pandemic let alone one that will impact Union City, Hoboken, and Jersey City for decades.” After deleting the post, Fulop said Hoboken Mayor Ravi Bhalla had committed to working with him to find a solution they could both benefit from.

The Western Edge Redevelopment Plan originally passed in 2015 and applies to the blocks between Ninth Street and 14th Street, west of Jefferson Street in Hoboken.

The recent amendment that passed last week allows the height for a future hotel within the redevelopment to be raised from 166 feet to 216 feet. The amendment increased the possible height for mixed-use buildings with residences to 186 feet and 196 feet for those without.

NJ Governor Murphy Passes Order That Allows Renters to Use Security Deposits for Rent Payment

Renters in the state of New Jersey are obligated to provide a security deposit when signing a lease for a new apartment. That money is held in an escrow account that can not exceed more than a month and a half worth of rent. Hudson County View reported that NJ Governor Murphy has signed an executive order that allows renters to “direct their landlords to use their security deposits to pay their rents, whether that be to make up for a shortfall or to pay it in full.”

“During this emergency, renters should have the ability to tap this deposit to help them secure their place in their home,” Murphy added. The order is effective immediately and will remain in place for 60 days following the end of the public health emergency, according to the governor’s office. “We recognize the anxiety that so many feel about looming rent payments … especially with May 1st a week away,” Murphy said during his daily press briefing. “We will continue to be proactive on housing relief.”

Senior Check-in Program Created by the City of Hoboken and Hoboken City Council

A senior check-in program was created in partnership with the City of Hoboken and the Hoboken City Council to support the elderly population in Hoboken. The program will answer questions, provide updated information, and connect seniors to a community volunteer. To sign up for the check-in program, call Councilwoman Vanessa Falco at 201-523-4033 or reach out to the Community Emergency Response Team at 201-420-5625.

ITA Italian Kitchen in Jersey City is Open for Takeout + Delivery

{Photo via @itajerseycity}

ITA Italian Kitchen in Jersey City is open for takeout and delivery and has put their meatballs back on the menu, made with a blend of beef & veal, and served with their classic Pomodoro sauce and Ricotta cheese. The new eatery is located at 686 Bergen Ave in Jersey City. They are also offering several different types of combos, perfect for all cravings. Takeout and delivery is available Tuesday-Saturday from 4:00PM-8:00PM. Call 201-435-8380 to place your order and check out their Instagram for the different menu items available.

CHAMPS Chicken + Waffles Now Open for Pick-up and Delivery

{Photo via @chics4sale}

CHAMPS Chicken + Waffles in Jersey City is another new spot open and offering pickup or delivery via UberEats. The menu can be viewed on Instagram and orders can be placed by calling 201-333-5658. They are located at 688 Bergen Avenue in McGinley Square, in the former home of Ohlala Dessert Bar. Welcome to Hudson County, CHAMPS!

Got a news tip? Let us know — email us at hello@hobokengirl.com! We appreciate it.

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Stephanie Osmanski writes honest things about health, the planet, and being a woman. Her words have appeared on Business Insider, Parade, Eat This Not That, Dogster, Scary Mommy, Green Matters, Parents, Seventeen, Life & Style, InTouch Weekly, and more. Her articles have been syndicated on World Economic Forum, MSN, MSN UK, and MSN Canada. In her free time, Stephanie and her registered therapy dog, Koda, volunteer at local hospitals, nursing homes, and other healthcare facilities.