• 20+ Hudson County News Stories You Missed This Week

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    Hey, Hudson County. So much went on this week, it might be hard to keep up with all these headlines! Luckily, that’s where Hoboken Girl comes in.

    Besides some political happenings, there’s also a ton of information on what’s opening in Mile Square + Jersey City {Green Pear Café, Uni K Wax}  and of course, what’s closing {Wee Babe and a Charrito’s location}. And as always, a bunch of other headlines about what’s going on in town.

    For more local news headlines you may have missed this week, keep reading!

    Green Pear Opens Second Location in Jersey City Heights

    green pear cafe

    ^ Green Pear’s current location in Hoboken! 

    Hoboken Girl can confirm that Green Pear Café is opening a second location in Jersey City Heights. Coming soon to 93 Franklin Street in JC, Green Pear will start off as a dinner-only restaurant. Management is currently looking for local performers and chefs.

    “Our goal to fuse different cultures through healthy food continues with our new venture in vibrant JC Heights,” Isabella, a representative for Green Pear tells Hoboken Girl exclusively.

     

    Coup de Coeur Is Not Shutting Down, Just Under New Management

    coup de couer

    {Photo courtesy of Lara Cohn}

    Coup De Coeur, a shopping boutique at 1214 Washington Street isn’t shutting down after all. Last week, Hoboken Girl reported {with the help of an observant onlooker!} that Coup De Couer had been closed for weeks. According to new signage posted on the storefront window, CDC is simply undergoing some management changes.

    “Hello Hoboken ladies,” the sign reads. “Coup De Coeur is under new management and we are undergoing some exciting changes in the boutique!!”

    Fans of the store need not worry, as their doors will not be closed for long.

    “We will be reopening soon and look forward to providing the ultimate shopping destination on Mile Square.”

    CoolVines Announces 1st Annual Powerhouse Arts and Wine Festival

    coolvines wine festival

    CoolVines is a hip craft beer, spirit, and wine purveyor in Jersey City and is hosting its 1st annual Powerhouse Arts + Wine Festival in the Powerhouse Arts District {located at 322 Warren Street} on Saturday, August 10th from 11:00AM to 8:00PM.

    The first festival of its kind, the outdoor fest will feature live music from acts like Jersey-based hip-hop band Cook Thugless, a dance performance by Nimbus Dance, live painting, and fun activities for the whole family. CoolVines will be serving the best wine, craft beer, and spirits brands for purchase. There will also be local food vendors on site — like the new Shake Shack food truck — as well as a range of non-alcoholic beverages from ice tea to fresh lemonade, making the event family-friendly.

    “We are incredibly excited to be part of this neighborhood, and want to do all that we can to highlight and augment the ‘Arts’ part of this neighborhood’s name,” says Mark Censits, CEO of CoolVines in an official press release. “Our hope is that by hosting this festival, in collaboration with Nimbus Dance and all of our wonderful sponsors and collaborators, we can brighten the spotlight on some great artists and art venues in the PAD.”

    While the event is free, VIP tickets are available for $49 {or $39 if you catch the early-bird discount}, which includes 10 tastings and access to a VIP lounge. You can snag those tickets here.

    PATH Train Will Feature Art of Hoboken Students

    PATH station kids artwork

    Next time you take the PATH this summer, you should know the artwork you see marked with a set of palm trees was created by a Hoboken student-artist. The Hoboken Board of Education and Port Authority co-host the Summer Poster Contest that awards artists in different age categories.

    There were three categories — grades K-2nd, 3rd-5th, and 6th-8th — that produced three different winners. Winners include seventh-grader Naomi Cooke from Hoboken Middle School, fifth-grader Icez Cruz from Thomas G. Connors Elementary School, and second-grader Emma Henderson of Wallace Elementary School. All winners are pictured above with Hoboken Mayor Ravi S. Bhalla, PATH director + general manager Clarelle DeGraffe, and Principal Charles Bartlett from the Hoboken Public School District.

    Hoboken Approves Hilton Hotel Deal for $3.2 Million in Givebacks

    hilton hotel design

    {Image rendering by Cooper Carry Associates}

    After the City of Hoboken voided the old Hilton Hotel deal, City Council has now signed off on a new plan for redevelopment. In case you missed it, Hoboken has been trying to negotiate a deal that ends with a Hilton Hotel at a waterfront parking lot on 1st Street and Sinatra Drive.

    The new redevelopment plan was approved on June 19th and features up to 350 guest rooms, 20 stories, and a 6,400-square foot rooftop terrace. The hotel will include a lobby bar-slash-restaurant, meeting and banquet spaces, a gym, and retail sidewalk café. The givebacks in the new deal include a $3.2 million payment into an escrow account where the money will go toward “public purposes” that will be “determined by the City.” KMS Developers will also give $165,000 toward First Ward improvements, designated by the City, plus $1.5 million in streetscaping, paving, sidewalks, lighting, utilities, landscaping, storm water, control, and a new pocket park.

    Included in the deal is also the renovation of the Frank Sinatra Post Office and the construction of an underground loading facility.

    The initial plan included a 20-story hotel with 349 rooms and a total of $4.85 million in givebacks from the developer, KMS Development Partners. Those givebacks were to be given to the community and included $2 million toward renovating the YMCA at 1301 Washington Street. The plan dissolved when two property owners announced they were filing lawsuits on the grounds that the givebacks were illegal. KMS and the City voluntarily squashed the deal.

    “This is a great day for the City of Hoboken because this means that the waterfront hotel project is back on track,” Dennis Martin, the Managing Partner at KMS Development, said. “This redevelopment will be union built and operated, will fund major infrastructure upgrades, generate economic activity for local businesses, create good paying jobs for local residents and will become the gateway to the waterfront.”

    JC Resident Honored for 55 Years of Service by Fire Department

    jc fire department

    Get ready to have your heart warmed. Jersey City resident Gregory Green — lovingly known as “GG” — was recently honored by the Jersey City Fire Department for 55 years of service. The FD even named him honorary fire chief after GG spent the past five decades visiting the department which GG calls his second home.

    “It made me real proud, that’s why I am crying now, that’s why I am tearing now,” Green said. “They inspired and trained me… made me family. They made me feel like family most of the time… like being home away from home.”

    GG, now 65 years old and a cancer survivor, was 10 years old when Jersey City firefighters rescued him from a house fire. Ever since, GG has visited the firehouse, helping out with whatever he could around the department. He kept the firefighters company, kept up with chores, and volunteered his time.

    GG was honored at the annual Meritorious Award Ceremony at City Hall, which pays tribute to firefighters and EMTs, thanking them annually for their service. GG was also given an official JCFD badge as part of his award and a framed picture of himself in uniform.

    Wee Babe in Hoboken is Closing

    wee babe hoboken

    {Photo credit: @weebabedotcom}

    Sad news — Wee Babe {located at 1208 Washington Street in Hoboken} has closed its doors for good. In an entry to the Facebook group Hoboken Mommies, Wee Babe owner Beau Kuhn announced she is closing the store.

    “I am sad to say that I think I may be closing Wee Babe,” Kuhn wrote. “I went back to the corporate world in the fall and the store no longer fits in with the lifestyle of our family… In case you are wondering, life gets busier every year so far and I am pretty sure high school is about to multiply it.”

    Kuhn also went on to say that if anyone is interested in taking over the space, she would consider passing it on.

    “This also means there are a lot of good deals to be had before we close. I can say that many items have been put up on Hoboken Buy/Sell and everything else is on sale, even product we got in on Friday,” Kuhn added. “And if anyone thinks that having a retail business in Hoboken is their dream, please feel free to reach out. I would love to keep it open, I just cannot do it and do everything else!”

    We’re sad to see Wee Babe go, but wish Beau and her family good luck in their next chapter.

    Hoboken Historical Museum Celebrates Maria Pepe

    and Little League Baseball

    maria pepe little league baseball celebration

    The Hoboken Historical Museum invites everyone to celebrate the legendary Maria Pepe and all girls in Little League Baseball with the best all-girl baseball teams in the northeast. There will be hamburgers, hot dogs, watermelon, and Yum Yum ice cream for all who come to celebrate. Reserve your spot by purchasing an $8 ticket here.

    Downtown Los Charrito’s Location Closing at the End of June

    los charritos downtown

    After 17 years of serving authentic Mexican food {that fresh guacamole made tableside, tho} to Hoboken, Los Charritos’ downtown location at 121 Washington Street is closing at the end of the month.

    New signage posted on the storefront window says, “With a heavy heart, we would like to inform you that we will be closing this location at the end of June. After a 17-year run, our lease has had its last run and due to current circumstances with the building, we are unable to renew it.”

    Never fear — as we’re not about to lose Charrito’s forever. The restaurant’s other midtown location at 518 Washington will remain open.

    “It is not all sad news, the GOOD news is, we will be serving our VEGAN and non-vegan favorites at our midtown location… in which we now offer a full bar,” the note reads. “We, the entire Charrito’s family, would like to thank you for being by us, being loyal to us, and continuing to dine with us throughout these last years, if it wasn’t for your support, this would not have happened! From the bottom of our hearts, a BIG THANK YOU! See you at our midtown location, if there is something you enjoyed eating through the years and you don’t see it on the menu, let us know, it would be our pleasure to make it for you.”

    PATH Focusing On Getting More Trains Running in 2020 But It Means a Hike in Fare Prices

    path redevelopment plan

    PATH officials are investing $1 billion into a three-year plan to improve commuters’ experience. After all, last Wednesday, PATH set a record for ridership when 304,000 people took the trains in one day.

    The plan includes a new signal system, installed in 2018, to increase train frequency to every three minutes. Previously, trains arrived every four. PATH officials are also actively trying to increase the train’s capacity by 10% in September. Other lines are looking at 40% increases {Newark-World Trade Center line} by the end of 2022.

    With these new capacity increases, PATH trains will have the space to move an extra 18,000 more people and there will hopefully be less overcrowding on each train. PATH is also planning to expand the stations at Grove Street and Exchange Place. Both stations will implement nine-car trains. Eventually, both hope to switch to 10-car trains.

    PATH has invested $80 million into this multi-faceted plan. However, with all these changes comes with a substantial fare hike. Port Authority is seeking to increase bridge and tunnel tolls, PATH fares, and other fees. This is the first hike of its kind in eight years.

    This proposal would raise the cash toll for bridges and tunnels by $1. It would also restrict E-ZPass toll discounts, including for those who use PATH’s SmartLink card.

    Mayor Bhalla Says Hoboken Will Not Put Resources Toward Enforcing Civil Immigration Law

    mayor bhalla releases statement on ICE

    You won’t see ICE in Hoboken. Mayor Bhalla announced via Facebook that he stands with immigrants and with the corporation of Police Chief Ken Ferrante, Hoboken will not be putting resources toward enforcing civil immigration law.

    “Hoboken is a Fair and Welcoming city where everyone, regardless of immigration status, [is] entitled to dignity and respect and treated equally under the law,” Bhalla wrote. “Despite President Trump’s inhumane policies targeting immigrant families, Hoboken, with the support of Police Chief Ken Ferrante, will not expend resources enforcing civil immigration law.”

    Mayor Bhalla’s statement comes after New York Daily News reported that ICE is expected to round up immigrants this weekend.

    “As I stated when I first assumed office, Hoboken was and will continue to be built and improved by immigrants, their descendants, and the diverse communities that make up our great City,” Bhalla continued.

    Uni K Wax Opens in Jersey City

    unikwax opening jersey city

    {Photo credit: Facebook}

    Uni K Wax Studios has opened in Jersey City at 332 Marin Boulevard. The studio celebrated its grand opening this past Thursday and offered one free wax for first-time visitors.

    Uni K Wax specializes in all kinds of waxing — from “manscaping” to underarm and bikini waxing.

    Are You an Artist? Jersey City Is Looking for Art!

    rr mural finals

    Jersey City’s Central Avenue S.I.D. Management Corporation is seeking proposals for public art installations in the Central Avenue Shopping District. The deadline for submissions is Friday, August 2nd and artists whose work will be commissioned for installation in late summer and early fall. Artists will be paid upon completion.

    If you are interested in participating, you can check out the Request for Proposal and artist’s guidelines here. According to the guidelines, preference will be given to proposals with original and well-executed use of Trompe l’oeil art technique involving realistic imagery that appears three-dimensional and artwork that references the rich history of The Heights, Jersey City, and Hudson County.

    Frank Raia Found Guilty in Voter Fraud Trial

    court

    Frank Raia has been found guilty of conspiracy to violate the federal Travel Act for causing the mails to be used in aid of voter bribery, according to the Hudson Reporter.

    In connection with a 2013 municipal campaign in Hoboken, Raia was found guilty of voter bribery on June 25th after the jury deliberated for two days. With this felony charge, Raia faces prison time of up to five years and a $250,000 fine.

    “Today’s guilty verdict is an affirmation that no one is above the law, and those that commit voter fraud will be exposed and brought to justice,” said Mayor Bhalla. “Given the revelations exposed by the trial that additional criminal activity took place in 2015 and other election cycles, further investigation into voter fraud by law enforcement will help ensure that voter fraud is rooted out of Hoboken once and for all. It is long past time for a clean break from the corrupt politics of the past.”

    The vote-by-mail bribery trial lasted four days, but ultimately, a jury found Raia guilty of directing campaign workers to pay residents $50 to vote by mail for Raia.

    In a statement issued in a press release, Hoboken Mayor Ravi Bhalla commented on the current situation:

    “Today’s guilty verdict is an affirmation that no one is above the law, and those that commit voter fraud will be exposed and brought to justice,” said Hoboken Mayor Ravi S. Bhalla. “Given the revelations exposed by the trial that additional criminal activity took place in 2015 and other election cycles, further investigation into voter fraud by law enforcement will help ensure that voter fraud is rooted out of Hoboken once and for all. It is long past time for a clean break from the corrupt politics of the past.”

    Hoboken Councilwoman Tiffanie Fisher also made a statement to the Hudson Reporter about the verdict, sharing, “There are a lot of people today saying ‘finally.’ This is a decisive moment of Hoboken and hopefully the end of the ‘paying for votes’ schemes that have impacted the results of our local elections for years.”

    Before a verdict was found this past week, Hoboken Councilman Mike DeFusco announced a new campaign manager, David Gracin, according to hMag. DeFusco’s former campaign manager, Ryan Yacco, was brought up several times throughout the trial. Yacco’s firm, Bluewater Operations, was even accused of writing $50 checks to those who would vote for Raia.

    Days later, DeFusco appointed Gracin as 2019 campaign manager and announced Ray Ferraioli will lead the campaign’s fundraising efforts.

    “I’m excited that my core team from the mayoral campaign will be joining me again this year to continue the push to bring new energy and new ideas to Hoboken,” said DeFusco. “David is a well-respected campaign professional who has successfully elevated candidates across the country into public service. Our entire team shares my commitment to good government and I’m confident with their support and guidance we will continue to build a better Hoboken.”

    Councilman DeFusco Promises $5,400 Donation to  Homeless Vets

    veteran donations hoboken

    Councilman Mike DeFusco announced in a press release his plans to donate $5,4000 to the American Legion to Build Housing for Homeless Veterans. The donation is a response to Frank Raia’s sentencing, as it matches the donation Raia made to Councilman DeFusco’s mayoral campaign in 2017.

    “I have long supported legislation that supports our homeless veterans and helps them rebuild from a vulnerable state,” DeFusco said. “Politics must work for everybody and the money donated to me from Frank Raia in 2017 has no place in my campaign. Illegal vote-buying has tainted the electoral process in Hoboken for decades, stripping residents of their right to let their voices be heard. Frank’s conviction should send a strong message that this type of illegal behavior is unacceptable and those guilty of corruption must be held accountable for their actions.”

    DeFusco continued, “I hope the dozens of local and state leaders and Democratic organizations who have also received contributions from Frank Raia will follow my lead by doing the right thing. Giving his donated money to community organizations will make a positive impact on peoples’ lives for years to come.”

    Whole Foods in Weehawken Finally Gets an Opening Date

    whole foods 365

    The road to a Whole Foods in Weehawken just got a little shorter, now that an opening date has finally been announced. The Whole Foods supermarket will officially open on Friday, July 26th.

    The store will celebrate with special promotions for the grand opening, include complimentary Balthazar Bakery pastries and Café Grumpy coffee before the store opens. The first 100 customers will get a Whole Foods Market reusable canvas tote bag — which is sure to come in handy now that Hudson County has banned single-use plastic bags.

    The new store is all of 32,000-square feet and located at 1400 Waterfront Terrace in The Shops at Lincoln Harbor. Stay tuned for updates to come!

    Hoboken’s Resiliency Park Is Set to Break Ground This Fall

    resiliency park image rendering

    {Image rendering by City of Hoboken}

    The City of Hoboken has plans to break ground on the new five-acre Resiliency Park by this upcoming fall. After awarding a contract to Tomco Construction, Inc. on June 19th, things are in place to begin construction on what will become Hoboken’s biggest park.

    “The Northwest Park’s final design, based on feedback from the community includes an athletic field, open lawn space, park pavilion and shade structure, ice skating rink, spray water feature, playground equipment for children of all ages, lowland gardens, and more,” City officials wrote in a official news release. “It also includes above ground green infrastructure and an underground detention system which together will withhold up to 2 million gallons of rainwater to help reduce flooding in Northwest Hoboken.”

    Mayor Bhalla is a huge proponent of the new park. He said, “This park will become a model for the rest of the state with its above and below ground flood mitigation infrastructure while providing state-of-the-art open space amenities for our community.”

    Shokudo Japanese Ramen + Udon is Coming to Hoboken

    shokudo ramen hoboken

    Hoboken is getting another new ramen spot and it’s called Shokudo. Shokudo, located on 14th Street, is a Japanese ramen + udon restaurant that will serve Japanese noodle dishes {like ramen} and classic Japanese fare, including rice bowls, deep-fried tofu, and more. Find out more about this savory + delicious new locale here.

    Blo Blow Dry Bar Opens in Jersey City

    blo jersey city

    {Photo credit: @blojerseycity}

    Blo Blow Dry Bar has opened in Jersey City at 160 Morgan Street. Blo is open Monday-Wednesday 9:00AM-7:00PM, Thursday-Saturday 9:00AM-9:00PM, and Sunday 10:00AM-6:00PM. The salon will also take clients as early as 7:00AM Monday-Saturday by appointment.

    Jersey City Gets First Permanent Protected Bike Lanes

    jc bike lanes

    {Photo credit: @jerseycitynj}

    Bicycle riders, rejoice. This week, Jersey City debuted its first permanent protected bike lanes on Grove Street. Bike riders can now enjoy cruising + getting to/from places safely thanks to the dedicated lanes.

    Four People Have Been Arrested for Using Counterfeit $100 Bills in Hoboken

    counterfeit money hoboken

    As much as we wish we could, we can’t use Monopoly money in real life. hMAG reported that four people have been arrested for using counterfeit money in the Mile Square. Three Hoboken police officers responded to a call at Hudson Paperie where it was reported that customers used a counterfeit $100 bill. These same customers were then seen leaving Sephora afterward.

    It was reported that Alexis Mclee,  Floyd Harrison, Leon Samuels, and Derrick Hamer were arrested.

    An LGBTQ Pride Mass is Happening at a Hoboken Catholic Church

    pride-mass-hoboken

    In happier news, hMAG also reported this week that Our Lady of Grace will be hosting an LGBTQ Pride Mass this Sunday, June 30th. This will be its second annual Pride Mass.  

    The Most Expensive Apartment Ever Sold in Hoboken This Week

    expensive apartment hoboken

    This week, the New York Post reported that the most expensive apartment ever sold in Hoboken was officially taken off of the market this week. The apartment was once home to former NJ governor Jon Corzine and sold for $3.89 million.

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


    Written by:

    Steph Osmanski is a freelance writer who specializes in sustainability and health and wellness content. She is currently pursuing an MFA in Creative Writing at Stony Brook Southampton.


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