Park Ave Closed Sunday for “Open Streets” Pilot in Hoboken + More News You Missed

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Another week of Coronavirus self-isolation is in the books. From filling out the 2020 Census to getting pumped for the Mile Square’s Uptown Farmers Markets to begin, this week has been a busy one, even with the holiday weekend.

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 22nd, Hoboken has 561 positive COVID-19 cases according to the latest Nixle alert; and Jersey City has 6,709 positive cases as of May 22nd. 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 the Mile Square are children under 16.
  • — Hoboken has begun COVID-19 antibody testing for the public — the full story.
  • — Hoboken is also now offering COVID-19 antibody testing for residents.
  • — 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.

Uptown Farmer’s Market Returns to Hoboken This Summer

hoboken farmers market news

The City of Hoboken, Mayor Bhalla, and Bijou Properties have announced that the Uptown Farmers Market is coming back to the Mile Square. Operating on Saturdays under the 14th Street Viaduct as of May 30th, 2020, this marks the temporary relocation of the “Garden Street Farmers Market” residents have become accustomed to. This relocation is a direct response to the need for a larger space due to social distancing practices that have now become standard during COVID-19.

“Access to fresh fruits and vegetables is an important part of staying healthy during COVID-19, and I’m glad we were able to come up with another option this year given the circumstances,” Mayor Bhalla said in a statement.

This new location, of course, also comes with a set of new social distancing rules: staff, vendors, and customers will be required to wear gloves and masks, customers will enter in one direction and exit in another, and all staff, vendors, and customers will be required to socially distance at least six feet apart at all times.

Residents will find Stony Hill Farms selling their Jersey Fresh produce, Hoboken Farms and Paolo’s Kitchens selling local eats, along with Pickle-Licious, Valley Creamery’s sheep’s milk cheese, and more.

The Hoboken Farmers Market, sponsored by the Quality of Life Coalition, will also be returning to the Mile Square next month. Starting June 2nd, 2020, every Tuesday from 2:00PM-7:30PM, the Hoboken Farmers Market will be open for its 22nd season on Garden Street between 4th and 5th Streets. Here, residents will find Union Hill Farms, Melick’s Town Farm, and Circle Brook Organic selling New Jersey produce. Pickle-Licious, Gourmet Dried Fruits and Nuts, Hoboken Farms, and the Kimchi Kitchen will also be selling their locally made products.

Jersey City Approves Installation of 72 New Verizon 5G Poles

5g poles verizon

After originally voting to table the ordinance that would bring 72 new Verizon 5G poles to Jersey City last week, the City Council has now approved the 5G installation.

Jersey City First Assistant Corporation Counsel Nick Strasser said, “This council has approved two prior 5G contracts for other vendors and the fee charged was $750 per pole.”

Previously, Councilmembers decided to table the 5G towers, citing that they required more information regarding the safety of the relatively unknown 5G technology. The towers have come under fire from some, the main criticism being that they may pose a danger to human health because of radiation.

Despite these concerns, the Council ultimately voted to approve the poles, 6-3. Read more about our research on 5G in Hoboken here.

Vote to Increase Tax Levy by 5% in Hoboken Postponed

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Earlier this week, the Hoboken City Council was slated to vote on to potentially increase Hoboken’s tax levy by 5%, but ultimately, the Council chose to delay its decision.

The Resolution — entitled “Resolution Authorizing Estimated Tax Billing Per N.J.S.A. 54:4-66.3” — seeks to estimate the City’s budget. Because of the current financial climate, the City is recommending that based on its estimate of the budget, the residents’ taxes should be increased the full amount they can be, which in this case is 5%.

If this resolution were to pass, the residents of Hoboken would pay 5% more in taxes in their August 2020 bill.

Hoboken-Based Company Discontinued by Walmart

jet walmart discontinued news

As the company faces a financial fallout as a direct result of the impacts of the coronavirus pandemic, Walmart has announced that Jet.com, which has its HQ at 221 River Street in Hoboken, will dissolve completely into Walmart.com.

Jet, an online market place, was acquired by Walmart for $3 billion back in 2016 when the company was only a one-year startup, according to Tech Crunch.

So far, Jet employees have been able to keep their jobs and the Hoboken office space. Read more here.

Hoboken Expands Composting Options for Residents

community compost company expands

Hoboken has expanded its free residential composting options for residents. Starting June 15th, the Community Compost Company, in conjunction with the city, will offer residential compost drop-offs at the following sites: City Hall, 94 Washington Street {near patio behind City Hall on Bloomfield Street between Newark and 1st Streets}, Church Square Park, 400 Garden Street {near restrooms in the center of the park}, Elysian Park, 1100 Hudson Street {near restrooms on the north side of the park}, and 7th + Jackson Plaza {near Portland Loo restroom on 7th Street between Monroe and Jackson Streets}.

This expansion is the City’s latest effort to move the Hoboken’s Climate Action Plan forward, according to a press release by the City of Hoboken. The Plan seeks to reduce the City’s greenhouse gas emissions and become carbon neutral by 2050. When these new drop-off sites open on June 15th, the Public Works Garage will then close permanently.

New Program Lunch Is on the House Provides Donated Meals from Orale Mexican Kitchen to Frontline Workers

orale hoboken mexican restaurant

A local initiative called Lunch Is on the House is working to bring meals — donated by Orale Mexican Kitchen — to healthcare workers at local hospitals. In addition to offering help to healthcare heroes during this time of need, Orale has also had to lay off many of its own workers. As part of this initiative, Orale is matching every donation made and delivering 100 meals at once.

If you are interested in donating, you can send food to healthcare workers either by Paypal or Venmo.

Hoboken City Council Votes to Eliminate Office of Constituents, Mayor Plans to Veto Decision

hoboken city hall news

In an online meeting, the Hoboken City Council voted earlier this week to eliminate the Office of Constituent Services in a 6-3 vote. Councilmembers Mike DeFusco, Vanessa Falco, Tiffanie Fisher, Michael Russo, Ruben Ramos, and Council President Jen Giattino voted in favor of eliminating the office. Councilmembers Emily Jabbour, Phil Cohen, and Jim Doyle voted against it.

However, Hoboken Mayor Ravi S. Bhalla announced on May 21st that he plans to veto the decision to eliminate the office.

Mayor Bhalla and Caroline Caufield reopened the Hoboken Office of Constituent Services in 2018 after it had been struck from the budget at the recommendation of a municipal auditor in 2009.

This vote to eliminate the Office of Constituent Services comes on the heels of a financial crisis in Hoboken, which has prompted the introduction of two other ordinances to reduce municipal costs. The other two ordinances seek to temporarily cut the salaries of all City Council members, Mayor Bhalla, and City Directors by 10% for the rest of 2020, as well as eliminate the in-house engineer position in the mayor’s cabinet — as well as a potential 5% tax levy increase that was introduced to the council by the administration earlier this week.

The City is now looking to reduce municipal costs months after the announcement of its multi-million dollar budget deficit, which has since only been exacerbated by the impacts of the COVID-19 crisis. Back in April, the City laid off 11 workers, while 15 “took an early retirement package,” according to hMag.

Chromebook For Kids Initiative Provides School-Assigned Tech to Students

school charter school

The Hoboken Public Education Foundation {HPEF} has started a new initiative called Chromebook for Kids. The goal of the initiative is to provide every student 1:1 with their own school-assigned Chromebook for the next school year, as the coronavirus pandemic demands that we continue distance learning for the foreseeable future.

As Mayor Bhalla reported on Friday’s Nixle alert, Chromebook for Kids is close to meeting its goal of providing every Hoboken student with a Chromebook. This is in large part due to a $75,000 donation from Mack-Cali, SJP Properties, and Academy Bus. If you are interested in helping, visit hobokenpref.org.

Konstantinos Babalis, Founder of  Hoboken’s Malibu Diner, Passes Away

Malibu-Diner-5

Anyone who’s visited Hoboken via 14 Street knows that right there, perched on the corner is long-time local eatery — the Malibu Diner. However, in an unfortunate turn of events, the news has been released that the patriarch + founder of this family-owned diner has passed away. Konstantinos Babalis, who took over the 14th Street space, passed away last week, according to Tapinto.netBabalis immigrated to the U.S. from Greece in 1979 and has been a Mile Square resident ever since.

Local Law Firm Mayor Bhalla Works for, Representing NJ Republicans +  Small Businesses, Suing NJ Governor Phil Murphy

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A local Hackettstown law firm that is representing the New Jersey Republicans and a number of small businesses is suing New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy. Now, you might be wondering how this pertains to local happenings — well, the local law firm is Lavery, Selvaggi, Abromitis & Cohen, P.C. — is the firm Hoboken’s Mayor Bhalla works for as legal counsel, in addition to his mayoral duties. According to NorthJersey.comthe group is suing the governor “in state Superior Court over his stay-at-home order.”

Jersey City’s Mack-Cali Realty Corporation Could Be Getting a Liquor License in Weehawken

Mack Cali Realty Corporation, a Jersey City-based company, could be getting a liquor license for Weehawken. According to Jersey Digs, “An application that was filed with the Weehawken Alcoholic Beverage Control Board calls for transferring a pocket plenary retail consumption license to MC Roseland TRS Operating, LLC’s Roseland Hospitality Corp.”  According to JD, those listed as reps for Roseland Hospitality are also reps for Mack-Cali. It’s undisclosed as to where or what it may be, but stay tuned for more.

Hoboken’s Park Avenue + 10th Street to Close This Weekend as Part of Continued ‘Open Streets’ Program

{Photo credit: Twitter}

Yet another Hoboken street is going to be closed this weekend for the ‘open streets’ program — Park Avenue. This Sunday, from 8:00AM-8:00PM, Park Avenue between 5th and 11th Streets and on 10th Street between Garden and Grand Street will be closed to create a connection between Church Square Park and Columbus Park.

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.


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