The Hive to Take Over Old Truglio’s Space Plus More Hoboken + Jersey City News You Missed

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With yet another week in coronavirus quarantine down, we are still #HobokenStrong, #JerseyCityStrong, and all in all, #HudsonCountyStrong. One exciting change that came this week is the re-opening of some local parks and the pilot program of opening Jefferson Street in Mile Square to pedestrian and bike traffic only. We may still be technically social distancing, but we are all #AloneTogether and one step closer to being the real kind of together.

Keep reading for 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 May 15th, Hoboken has 540 positive COVID-19 cases according to the latest Nixle alert; and Jersey City has 6,201 positive cases as of May 15th. Track Jersey City’s numbers daily here.
  • – Over 125 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.
  • — Hoboken has begun COVID-19 antibody testing for the public — the full story.
  • — Hoboken will begin COVID-19 antibody testing for residents starting on Wednesday, May 20.
  • — Jersey City has begun antibody testing for all residents.
  • – 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.
  •  Find more of the latest local + statewide updates on our daily updates page.

And now, for this week’s headlines.

The Hive Taking Over Former Truglio’s Space

{Photo credit: @hellofromthehive}

The former Truglio’s space {located at 1000 Park Avenue, Hoboken} has a new tenant — The Hive, a space for parents + their kids. In an Instagram announcement, The Hive wrote:

We know we have some big shoes to fill by taking over this legendary spot and we promise to work hard every day to bring the same sense of community and passion to our business as the Truglio Family did while serving the neighborhood within these walls. We’re keeping some of the beautiful vintage finishes that still adorn the interior while modernizing it with our own flavor to bring you a space that’s welcoming, warm, and sparks just a bit of joy.

The Hive will be opening this fall, and looks to be a mixed-use cafe with a surprise twist, according to its Instagram.

FDA Grants Emergency Authorization to Rutgers Lab in Approving First At-Home Coronavirus Detecting Saliva Test

coronavirus testing hoboken

The US. Food and Drug Administration {FDA} has granted emergency use authorization to Rutgers’ RUCDR Infinite Biologics lab, providing them authorization for the first coronavirus detecting saliva test. The test would allow people to collect their saliva at home, then send it to the lab for results.

The at-home saliva-collection test was developed by RUDR in partnership with Spectrum Solutions and Accurate Diagnostics Labs.

“The impact of this approval means that not only do we no longer have to put health care professionals at risk for infection by performing nasopharyngeal or oropharyngeal collections, we can now preserve precious PPE for use in patient care instead of testing and can significantly increase the number of people collected each and every day in places other than a health care setting,” said Andrew Brooks, chief operating officer and director of technology development at RUCDR.

“This will enable testing for people who do not have the means to get to a collection center and/or are at home because they are sick, quarantined, at increased risk for infection or simply concerned about exposing themselves by traveling to a collection site,” Brooks added. “This approach will have a significant impact on helping people in New Jersey and across the United States get back to work as we will be able to monitor large numbers of people in a variety of locations.”

As of right now, it is unclear whether the presence of COVID-19 antibodies equates to immunity from coming down with the virus again.

City Launches Hoboken Relief Fund and Starts Economic Recovery Task Force

open parks new jersey hudson county hoboken jersey city

The City of Hoboken has launched the Hoboken Relief Fund and established an Economic Recovery Task Force to begin dealing with the financial fallout of the coronavirus pandemic. The goal of the Relief Fund is to provide financial relief to “those hit hardest from COVID-19,” according to a press release issued on behalf of the City. This includes small businesses as well as individuals.

The Fund will benefit from fundraisers, the first of which took place on Saturday, May 16th. The virtual online benefit concert was hosted by Cake Boss star Buddy Valastro and headlined by local Mile Square artists.

The City is asking anyone who can afford to do so to please donate to the relief fund, which you can do by visiting http://www.HobokenReliefFund.com. In the event that you would like to be considered for financial assistance, you can apply on the fund’s website.

Hoboken has also made an Economic Recovery Task Force in an effort to mitigate the financial hardship the COVID-19 outbreak has caused. Mayor Ravi S. Bhalla signed an executive order establishing the task force earlier this week.

“As Hoboken prepares for a gradual re-opening as determined by the State, we must ensure that it is done so in the safest manner possible for both our residents and small businesses,” Mayor Bhalla said in a statement. “The task force we established today will be asked to share recommendations to the City and our businesses that prioritizes the health and safety of our community.”

The task force is co-chaired by Grace Sciancalepore, owner of Leo’s Grandevous, and Anthony Pino, owner of Anthony David’s and Bin 14, while director Leo Pellegrini and director Jennifer Gonzalez will serve as City representatives. Other members include Dave Jacey {of Blackbear}, Mario Stretti {of 10th and Willow} Nick DePalma {of Leo’s}, Dona Garban {of Little City Books}, Meghan Lavelle {of Washington General}, Laurie Michelson {of Hair Cult}, Tats Mori-Ryan {of Bwe Kafe}, Jon Bevacqua {of CrossFit Hoboken}, Ricardo Roig {of Roig Collection}, Preston Junger {of Hoboken Hospitality Association}, and Stuart Koperweis and Greg Dell’Aquila, who will represent Hoboken’s Special Improvement District.

The responsibility of the task force is to come up with and then present, to both Mayor Bhalla and the City of Hoboken, a set of recommendations for how local businesses in each industry can best adapt. This set of recommendations is expected to be presented within a two-week time frame.

“We are glad to help with an economic recovery in our Mile Square,” said task force co-chairs Grace Sciancalepore and Anthony Pino. “As owners of small businesses, we know first-hand how challenging it has been during COVID. We want to provide our support to the City as we plan for ways to keep everyone safe when supporting the many terrific local businesses, and look forward to working with the task force members.”

Jersey City Puts 5G Ordinance on Pause

5g poles verizon

Jersey City has decided that it needs more information about the new 5G technology before the City Council can approve an ordinance that would result in the installation and upgrades of 72 utility poles throughout the city.

“We do not know enough to approve this,” Council Richard Boggiano said in a statement. “I’ve heard things about the risk of radiation that I need to know more about.”

It is not the first time Verizon’s 5G towers have come into question, especially locally. The thought process behind the 5G technology is that it will bring stronger service to the area, allowing for stronger cell phone transmission. That’s better cellular service and better WiFi no matter where you are in town. But concerns about people’s health and the potential radiation 5G will transmit have caused many to approach the topic cautiously.

Ultimately, the City cannot stop the installation from happening, as that authority lies with the Federal Communications Commission {FCC}, which has already ruled the tech as safe. However, the City can make decisions about where the 5G poles can go, as well as look into what the poles are made of. The Council is so far scheduled to take another look at the ordinance during their May 18th caucus meeting. Read more on 5G here.

Street Sweeping Resumes Tomorrow in Hoboken

jersey city street sweepers

For most of the COVID-19 pandemic, street sweeping has been suspended in Hoboken. However, the City of Hoboken recently announced that regularly scheduled street sweeping will begin tomorrow, Monday, May 18th.

“Keeping Hoboken safe and healthy also means ensuring our streets are clean, which is understandably not the case on certain streets since street sweeping has been suspended for several weeks,” Mayor Bhalla said in a statement. “Keeping our streets clean is an important factor in keeping our residents safe during COVID-19.”

CityMD Backtracks After Telling 15,000 Patients Who Tested Positive for Antibodies That They’re Coronavirus Immune

doctor coronavirus

So much of the ins and outs of coronavirus is still unknown, particularly whether or not contracting the virus once means you’re immune to contracting it again in the future. After CityMD told 15,000 patients who tested positive for COVID-19 antibodies in both New York and New Jersey — that they were now “immune” to future contractions, the urgent care company had to backtrack and adjust its messaging.

In an update, CityMD wrote:

All CityMD patients getting the COVID-19 antibody test are given several documents (including printed discharge instructions and an FAQ) explaining that a positive result does not necessarily mean they have long-term immunity to COVID-19. Some CityMD patients received additional information from our patient portal saying a positive result on the COVID-19 antibody test confers immunity.

Many public health experts have said that the presence of antibodies in a patient means it is very likely that the patient has some degree of immunity. That said, we were concerned that the portal message might create some confusion for our patients, so we decided to remove that language from the portal message. We have contacted all affected patients and apologize for the confusion.”

Jersey City Council Freezes Rent During Coronavirus Pandemic

hoboken jersey city rent payments

Back in April, the City of Hoboken passed an ordinance to prohibit rent spikes during the COVID-19 pandemic. Now, the Jersey City Council has made the unanimous decision to impose a rent freeze on certain units. Applicable units are rent-controlled units, as well as homes with four or fewer non-owner occupied spaces. Under the ordinance, landlords are prohibited from raising the rent or charging penalty fees for rent payments that are late.

This ordinance is set to stay in place until August 1st.

Hoboken Resident Reports ‘Suspicious Package’ to Police, Ends Up Being Sanitizing Wipes Sent From a Family Member

sanitizing wipes

A Hoboken resident reported “a suspicious package” to police this past week after noticing it came from China and clarifying that they did not authorize the order. However, it ended up being a harmless package full of sanitizing wipes that a family member ordered and set to the resident’s home as a gift.

Police responded, as well as a hazardous materials truck near the site near 14th and Washington Street. According to Capt. Michael DeTrizio, police removed from the package from the home and brought it to headquarters, where the Jersey City HAZMAT team investigated it. The team ultimately found that the package was full of sanitizing wipes.

“It came from China and they didn’t order it, but a family member had sent it to them and so they got nervous,” DeTrizio said. “It was a shocker that it just turned out to be sanitizing wipes.”

DeTrizio added that anyone who intends on sending a package to another family member’s or friend’s house should first advise the person before ordering.

“Advise them and let them know, so they can be aware,” DeTrizio said.

Jersey City Board of Education Passes $736M Budget, Hiking School Taxes by 39%

teachers home school hoboken jersey city hudson county

Jersey City’s Board of Education has unanimously voted to approve a $736 million budget for the 2020-2021 school year that will result in a school tax levy increase of 39%.

The final vote on the budget was scheduled to take place on Wednesday, as the initial vote was not expected to pass the budget. However, the budget was unanimously voted in {9-0} on Monday. Trustees Gina Verdibello and Lekendrick Shaw pushed the motion forward.

For most of the remainder of the virtual meeting — two hours — parents and residents called in to complain.

BOE Business Administrator Regina Robinson estimated during the meeting that a Jersey City home assessed at $452,000 would see a monthly increase of $46 with this new school tax levy increase.

 

Hoboken City Council Members Propose Legislation to Expand Sidewalk Cafes

elysian cafe

In Hoboken, Councilman Mike DeFusco and Council President Jen Giattino are working on a proposal for a legislation package that would effectively expand the use of sidewalk cafes and lower the commission third-party delivery companies could obtain from delivering food on behalf of local restaurants. Both pieces of legislation are up for first reading at Wednesday night’s City Council meeting.

The first ordinance, which deals with amending existing sidewalk cafe regulations, would permit qualified businesses to build “a temporary platform” in parking spots in front of their establishment. This temporary platform could then be used as additional sidewalk cafe space for serving outdoor guests. The ordinance also would allow for businesses across the street from a municipal park to extend seating to the sidewalk in front of the park.

The second ordinance looks to more permanently impose a cap on the commission third-party delivery companies could collect from delivering food for local restaurants. The ordinance looks to prohibit third-party delivery services from charging as much as 15% to 30% on orders, while also prohibiting corporations from reducing the pay delivery drivers receive.

On Friday, Mayor Bhalla released a press release regarding the proposed legislation, which could potentially include open street liquor licenses — read more about it here.

Yousef Saleh Appointed as Ward D Councilman in the Wake of Late Councilman Michael Yun’s Death

councilman yousef saleh jersey city

{Photo credit: @yousefsaleh}

Yousef Saleh was sworn in as the new Jersey City Ward D Councilman on May 1st, 2020. Saleh was appointed the position in the wake of the late Councilman Michael Yun passing away due to complications from coronavirus.

“It’s been a whirlwind of a year, but in the middle of Ramadan, in the height of a pandemic, I have been called to service, and I’m truly grateful and humbled to be able to serve my beloved Jersey City Heights community,” Saleh wrote in his first Instagram post of the year. “So many people are hurting, and so much has been lost, but know that we will get through this together, and just know I am HERE every step of the way.”

Saleh, 31, is a former Board of Education candidate and senior compliance and regulation officer at JP Morgan Chase who has lived in Jersey City Heights his whole life. After being appointed to the position in a 6-2 vote from City Council, Saleh will be acting Ward D Councilman until a special election in November. If he wins the election, Saleh will then finish out the rest of the late Yun’s term.

A McNair High School graduate, Saleh graduated from Rutgers University in 2011 then went onto pursue a degree at Rutgers Law School before becoming a senior officer at Chase.

Hoboken Launching Antibody Testing for Residents After Pilot for First Responders and Frontline Workers

hoboken antibody testing

As of last Friday, Hoboken launched a COVID-19 antibody testing pilot for local first responders and frontline workers. After the success, Mile Square residents are next.

“The pilot launch last week was a success, with over 250 people tested for antibodies and receiving rapid results. Not only does this test offered at our Hoboken site let people know whether they have antibodies from a previous COVID-19 infection, but also whether they have antibodies built up from a current infection,” Mayor Bhalla said in a statement. “Making this test available to all Hoboken residents who want it will provide us with important data as we begin to plan for a safe re-opening for our region.”

Hoboken has partnered with Power Analytics and Prompt MD to allow for a digital reading of test results within 10 minutes of administering the antibody test.

The testing site is located at 601 Jackson Street {7th Street + Jackson Gym} and is open for pre-registration. Appointments and pre-registrations are required. If you are interested in an antibody test, you can register at Prompt MD online.

Street Brawl Breaks Out in Jersey City, Is Caught on Camera

A street brawl broke out on the south side of Jersey City, overtaking Bostwick Avenue on Tuesday. After a video of the brawl which shows more than 10 people fighting in the middle of the street surfaced online, Jersey City officials announced they will be investigating the use of force.

The cause of the fight is still currently unknown, however, police arrived on the scene attempting to peacefully break up the brawl. Eventually, police resorted to the use of force, striking a suspect with a baton and using pepper spray.

Rotaract Club Celebrating Essential Workers With Thank You E-Cards

rotaract club thank you e cards

The local Rotaract Club is asking Hudson County residents to help them create “thank you” e-cards that will be sent to essential workers during the COVID-19 pandemic. The Club is looking to email at least 100 thank you cards to Morristown Medical Center, NY-Presbyterian Brooklyn, and NY-Presbyterian.

For those interested in submitting an e-card, you can find an e-card template on their Instagram account. E-cards can be made for free using the online design platform, Canva.

Local Musician Brett Altman Releases “Alone on a Saturday Night”

hoboken jerseycity musicians

Local Hoboken musician Brett Altman is singing about how we’re all feeling. In his latest single, “Alone on Saturday Night,” Altman croons about keeping up with the Joneses for fear of missing out {AKA FOMO}. Well, now that we’re all home alone, not going out, it’s a message that resonates more than ever.

‘I wrote ‘Alone on Saturday Night’ almost three years ago in Hoboken, during a point in my life when I’d find any excuse to fill up my calendar,” Altman explains to Hoboken Girl via email. “I feared falling behind by spending any night at home. In the end, I learned how valuable quiet moments can be, and fortunately, this mindset has benefitted me during our current circumstance. Being alone doesn’t have to be lonely,” Altman adds.

You can listen to the song on SoundCloud.

Jersey City Launches First-Ever Tree Mapping Census

lorax speak for the trees

Sustainable JC has launched its first-ever tree mapping census in Jersey City.

“Our city’s tree canopy is disappearing at an alarming rate,” Core Team Member Jess Lawrence tells Hoboken Girl via email. “To restore the canopy, Sustainable JC is training an army of citizen scientists to help record existing trees. Together, we will collect the data needed to manage the restoration of the Jersey City Tree Canopy and improve the quality of life for all.”

If you are interested in taking part in Sustainable JC’s tree mapping census, you can sign up to participate.

Local Firm Feeds Entire Hoboken Fire Department

hoboken fire department

Bona Vita Benefits has partnered with Quality Greens Kitchen to donate nearly $2,500 in meals to the Hoboken Police and Fire Departments. The partnership has resulted in QGK and BVB feeding nearly 200 meals in total to local law enforcement in an effort to thank them for all that they do during the coronavirus pandemic — learn more here.

Georgia Man Charged With Conspiracy for Trafficking Guns to Jersey City

jersey city police nj

A Georgia man has been charged with conspiracy to commit the unlicensed sale of firearms after trafficking guns from the South to Jersey City, where they were used in local shootings.

On May 6th, U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito announced that Jonathan Brown, 26, of Covington, Georgia was arrested by special agents of the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives {ATF}. Brown is charged with one count of conspiracy and had a detention hearing on May 8th in Georgia.

The criminal complaint brought against Brown alleges that he led a scheme to purchase firearms in or near Georgia, then resell them to residents of Jersey City. The complaint adds that on at least one occasion, a firearm that Brown was responsible for trafficking to Jersey City was used in a local shooting.

So far, ATF reports recovering seven different firearms that Brown trafficked to Jersey City. The count of conspiracy Brown faces carries a max sentence of five years in prison and a max fine of $250,000.

Undergraduate Stevens Students Volunteer With Hoboken Volunteer Ambulance Corps During COVID-19

hoboken volunteer ambulance corps

A group of undergraduate pre-med students at Stevens Institute of Technology have been getting the firsthand experience that comes with going into the medical field by volunteering with Hoboken Volunteer Ambulance Corps {HVAC} during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“I thought it would be a great way to see firsthand what it’s like to be a healthcare provider,” said bio major Michelle Gnidash. “When I found out HVAC does not bill a single patient and runs fully off volunteers and donations, I knew I needed to do my part.”

Most Stevens students volunteer in the community, working with outreach groups that specifically align with their chosen future career paths. But no one could have foreseen just how real the coronavirus pandemic would get during these students’ volunteer work.

“You treat immediate life threats for the patient and transport them safely in order to get them to a higher medical authority,” said Nicole Mottole, a biomedical engineering major. “The real difference is that we have to enter scenes with high indexes of suspicion and always take precautions.”

Jason Buckman, a science technology and society major, added that calls to HVAC have significantly increased since COVID.

“Our call volume raised through the roof, and we are needed more than ever to keep the ambulances running for the community,” Buckman said. “We have to be far more careful.”

Jersey City Police Officer Wins Survivor for the Second Time

tony vlachos survivor

Jersey City police officer Tony Vlachos has won Survivor for the second time. In Season 40 of Survivor, Officer Vlachos survived 39 days in Winners at War, ultimately winning a $2 million grand prize.

The finale episode premiered on Wednesday, May 13th and prompted Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop to post on Facebook. “Congrats to Tony Vlachos of our North District,” Fulop wrote. “Winner!”

Vlachos now becomes the second competitor in Survivor history to become a two-time champion, joining Sandra Diaz-Twine.

But Vlachos wasn’t the only finalist from New Jersey. In fact, the final three were all NJ natives. In addition to Vlachos, Natalie Anderson from Edgewater, and Michele Fitzgerald from Hoboken {and  a former Hoboken Girl of the Week!} also held down the fort to represent NJ.

Adams Street Closes this Weekend as Part of Next ‘Open Streets Pilot’

adams street pilot hoboken

After closing down Jefferson Street in Hoboken last weekend as part of an “open streets” pilot, Mayor Ravi S. Bhalla has announced the continuation of Hoboken’s open streets pilot this weekend on Adams Street between 3rd and 9th Streets. The street will be closed vehicular traffic Saturday and Sunday from 8:00AM-8:00PM.

“The purpose of the open streets pilot is to provide additional space for social distancing for residents outdoors and alleviate overcrowding in City parks and other public spaces. Adams Street will be closed to traffic between 3rd and 9th Streets between 8 am and 8 pm on Saturday, May 16 and Sunday, May 17. Last weekend, Jefferson Street served as the City’s first open street pilot during COVID-19,” he shared in a press release.

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

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Written by:

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.