All The Headlines 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 May 1st, Hoboken now has 485 positive COVID-19 cases according to the latest Nixle alert; and Jersey City has 5,329 — 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 May 1st. All of the people who have passed have been 51 years and older.
  • – Jersey City has seen 285 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.
  • – The City of Hoboken tested 115 seniors earlier this week by going door to door in a senior building, made possible by a partnership with Prompt MD and Dr. Javedul Islam.
  • – Riverside Medical Group has opened an appointment-only testing center in North Hoboken for all of the city’s residents with or without symptoms and is now offering rapid 15-minute testing — call 201-420-5621 to book an appointment.
  • – Jersey City has expanded testing to residents with and without symptoms, as well as beginning antibody testing — the full story here.
  • – 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.

Journal Square Could Be Getting Two Urby Projects

journal square urby renderings

According to Jersey Digs, it looks like Jersey City could be getting two Urby projects instead of the already-anticipated one Urby project. In a recent virtual meeting amongst the Jersey City Redevelopment Agency’s Board of Commissioners, plans for a second project, an 18-story building at 168 Sip Avenue, were revealed in addition to the original Urby Tower, which was proposed for 571-577 Pavonia Avenue.

The Urby building at 168 Sip Avenue would feature 466 “market-rate residential units,” as well as 52 affordable housing units and about 12,500 square feet in retail space.

Stevens Institute Students Complete Their Senior Capstone Projects, Display Them Online

stevens institute capstone projects

It’s a weird time for all of us, thanks to COVID-19, but it’s especially weird for college seniors who have had to complete their senior capstone projects while in quarantine.

Anastasia Wingate wrote into Hoboken Girl through email, sharing that the senior capstone projects in the Steven Institute’s Visual Art and Technology Program have been put online in a digital portfolio. Originally, the capstone projects were supposed to be featured in an exhibition at Mana Contemporary in Jersey City but were instead switched to an online exhibition once the coronavirus outbreak happened.

“Each project is unique and special!” Wingate says in her email. “Art has been a way for me to cope and for many others, so I think it’s perfect for a time like this.”

View the senior capstone projects online at Visual Art and Tech.

Hudson County CASA Campaign Hosting iPad Drive for Homeschooled Kids Without Access to Technology

casa ipad drive

{Photo credit: @hudsoncasa}

In an effort to ensure that every child receives access to the technology necessary for homeschooling, Hudson County Court Appointed Special Advocates is hosting an iPad drive.

“Many of our foster children lack access to technology and in order to do their school work, must share one device with an entire household,” CASA representatives say in a press release. “Hudson County CASA is collecting used iPads to provide these kids with a way to learn and play.”

iPads can be dropped off at 1004 Garden Street in Hoboken or dropped or shipped to the CASA office at 442 Hoboken Avenue, Jersey City, NJ 07306.

In order to donate an iPad, CASA is asking that iPads must include a charger and be restored to their factory settings. For more information, please email aleite@hudsoncountycasa.org.

The iPads can either be dropped at 1004 Garden Street in Hoboken or dropped or shipped to the CASA office at 442 Hoboken Avenue, Jersey City, NJ 07306.

In order to be donated, the iPads must include a charger and be restored to factory settings. For more information or assistance, please email aleite@hudsoncountycasa.org.

Local Photography Company Launches Front Steps Project of Hoboken, Raises Over $13K for The Hoboken Food Pantry

Kim Gerlach, owner of Kim Lorraine Photography, has launched a new project: The Front Steps Project of Hoboken. With the help of her team, Alex Kramer and Kris Knesel launched the Front Steps Project the tagline of which is “Together though apart”to document this moment in time for families, all while raising money for the Hoboken Food Pantry.

To sign up, you can visit The Front Steps Project of Hoboken. The project accepts donations, which help go toward delivering groceries and meals. So far, 2,909 Hoboken households have been serviced due to the project.

The project, which photographs families quarantining together and practicing social distancing from others on their front steps, from their windows, and from their balconies, has raised over $13K to support residents in need.

Hoboken Extends Grace Period for Property Tax Payments

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The City of Hoboken has extended the grace period for property tax payments due on May 1st to June 1st. The extension is an effort to provide some financial relief to taxpayers, giving them a monthlong extended deadline to make the payment.

 Hoboken Suffers Two Water Main Breaks in 24 Hours

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Earlier this week, Hoboken suffered two water main breaks in 24 hours near 11th and Madison Streets. The Office of Emergency Management and crews from SUEZ responded to the scene, conducting repairs, and issuing a boil water advisory. Jersey City also suffered a water main break the day prior.

According to Mayor Ravi S.Bhalla and the Office of Emergency Management’s statement in a press release, the Hoboken water main break may have happened as a direct result of the Jersey City break. “… Our Office of Emergency Management believes that yesterday’s Jersey City water main break likely was a contributing factor to today’s break in Hoboken, which caused lower water pressure throughout the Hoboken system.”

Curry Up Now Launches ‘Roll it Forward’ Campaign to Match a Meal for Frontline Workers

curry up now roll it up burrito initiative

Curry Up Now has announced the Roll It Forward initiative, which invites guests to purchase $12 donation meals that Curry Up Now will match meal-for-meal starting May 6th, also known as Nurses Appreciation Day.

“We are so grateful for the support we’ve received from our loyal guests during this time, but we also want to show our appreciation for the hardworking healthcare professionals and help others who have been impacted by COVID-19,” Akash Kapoor, Founder & CEO of Curry Up Now, said in an official statement. “We have established the Roll It Forward campaign so that we, together with our guests, can ‘pay it forward’ to the deserving health heroes and hospitality workers in our communities.”

Donated meals will be collected and delivered on a regular basis to hospitals, recently unemployed or furloughed hospitality workers, people in homeless shelters, and others who have been negatively affected by the coronavirus outbreak.

Meal-for-meals can be purchased on the Curry Up Now app or website, giving customers the option to buy any denomination of donation meals, up to 100 meals!

North Hudson Mayors Announce Collaboration for Park Re-opening Plans

pier a park hoboken

A coalition of six mayors throughout North Hudson has gotten together to agree to a collaborative, local approach to issue a gradual re-opening of local municipal parks.

On Tuesday, April 28th, Mayor Bhalla of Hoboken, Mayor Gabriel Rodriguez of West New York, Mayor Nicholas Sacco of North Bergen, Mayor Brian P. Stack of Union City, Mayor Richard Turner of Weehawken, and Mayor Wayne Zitt of Guttenberg came to the agreement that when all six municipalities agree that it is safe to open all six of the municipalities’ parks, they will do so jointly and incrementally.

In a joint statement, all six Mayors said:

“As we consider an eventual re-opening of our municipal parks, we do so knowing that north Hudson County is perhaps the most densely populated region in the nation,” said the North Hudson Mayors. “With this in mind, it is absolutely critical for us, as mayors, to work together to ensure that any reopening of parks is driven by science and data and protects the health and safety of our residents. Acting as one collaborative group in our approach ensures that no park is unintentionally attracting additional residents of surrounding municipalities due to conflicting rules and regulations. This will allow our cities to take a cautious and deliberative approach that prevents the unintended spread of COVID-19, while promoting social distancing to the greatest extent possible. We know how difficult it has been without access to our parks and recognize the importance of getting fresh air as the weather gets nicer. While our parks remain closed until further notice, we look forward to working together to implement a gradual re-opening, when it is safe to do so, that prioritizes the health of our residents.”

For now, all the Mayors agreed playgrounds are to remain closed until further notice. All state parks and golf courses, however, are now open following an executive order from NJ Gov. Murphy on April 29th.

Hoboken Municipal Employees Send 59-Page Letter to Jersey Commissioner of Civil Service, Alleging Negligence

city hall hoboken layoffs

Laid-off employees and the Hoboken Municipal Supervisors Association are reacting to the City’s mass layoffs of municipal employees. The Hoboken Municipal Supervisors Association sent a 59-page letter to the New Jersey Commissioner of Civil Service earlier this week, alleging that Mayor Bhalla and his administration were negligent in how they handled the pending layoffs.

On Friday, April 17th, City Hall announced via Nixle alert that it would be laying off 26 of the workers who were originally served potential layoff notices back in February.

“It is our firm belief that the layoff list presented by Mayor Bhalla was contrived, orchestrated and planned to target individual employees,” said Dawn De Lorenzo, President of the Municipal Supervisors Association. “The Hoboken City Council recently passed a measure asking the administration to suspend all layoffs until a budget was submitted for review, but instead the Mayor has ignored this directive to protect the jobs of his current political appointments with the long term goal of giving tax payers jobs to his other political allies.”

De Lorenzo continued, “A number of our members are being forced into an early retirement at a time when their institutional knowledge of city operations is so desperately needed to keep Hoboken running efficiently. None of these people deserve to feel like they are being punished and treated like a piece of garbage and that is exactly what this administration is doing, tossing them to the curb.”

The layoffs are said to be a direct result of the City’s multi-million deficit, which was already unfolding prior to the pandemic but was exacerbated by the coronavirus outbreak.

One Grove Project Bringing 12 Story Building to Jersey City

one grove image rendering jersey city

{Image rendering by Image credit Strategic Capital via Jersey Digs}

Two Urby projects aren’t all Jersey City seems to be getting. Recently, a proposal for One Grove — a new project at 221 Grove Street in Jersey City — was announced. Jersey Digs reports that One Grove — “a lifestyle-oriented residential development with ground-floor retail that will activate the street and provide a retail presence at the South end of Grove Street” — could begin construction as early as the end of 2020 or beginning of 2021.

If constructed, the building would be 12 stories, feature 75 parking spaces, and nearly 6,240 square feet of retail space.

As of right now, the site is a vacant property recently purchased by One Grove Property, LLC. Following the proposal, which was given in a virtual meeting last week amongst the Board of Commissioners of the Jersey City Redevelopment Agency, the Board approved a resolution designating the firm, One Grove Property, LLC, as the redeveloper. The resolution also approves funding and a redevelopment agreement with One Grove Property, LLC.

Three Out-of-Staters Charged With Credit Card Fraud While Picking Up Food Delivery in Hoboken

credit card fraud news

Three out-of-staters have been charged with credit card fraud after picking up their food at Del Frisco’s Grille in Hoboken as per social distancing guidelines, but paying with a card that didn’t belong to any of them.

Last Friday, around 6:39PM, Isaiah Baptiste, 20, of Bushkill, PA, Kaya Findlay, 20, from Brooklyn, and Jason Palmer, 20, from Brooklyn, ordered food from Del Frisco’s Grille and paid over the phone with a credit card.

After the transaction was approved over the phone, a man from Oregon called Del Frisco’s, saying he received a credit card alert about the transaction. He said the transaction was on his card and he did not approve the transaction.

Around 7:24PM, all three pulled up to Del Frisco’s in a Mercedes Benz, where they were arrested by police and charged with fraudulent use of a credit card, credit card theft, theft of identity, uttering, theft by deception, conspiracy to commit credit card fraud, and committing an unauthorized act during a State of Emergency.

Development Team Behind Hoboken’s 7 Seventy House Roll Out New Program to Support Charities Aiding in COVID-19 Relief

money charity stock photo

The development team behind Hoboken’s 7  Seventy House, Bijou Properties and Intercontinental Real Estate Corporation, have rolled out a new program that is focused on helping charities that are aiding in COVID-19 relief.  The “new program will donate $7.70 to one of two non-profit organizations on behalf of every prospect and broker that participates in a digital leasing presentation at the 424-home rental building,” according to a press release.

“What’s more, the building’s ownership will commit to matching every donation, making the total raised even greater,” the press release continued. The process is simple and will generate meaningful funds for either the Front Line Appreciation Group {FLAG} of HBKN and JC, a local grassroots organization that provides meals and more to doctors, nurses and medical professionals, or Feeding America, a national organization with a specific fund to help feed those throughout the country affected by COVID-19.”

Local Officials Propose Business Legislation to Expand Use of Sidewalk Cafes + Lower Commission Third-Party Delivery Companies Receive

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In Hoboken, councilman Mike DeFusco and council president Jen Giattino have proposed new legislation that “will expand the use of sidewalk cafes and lower the commission that third-party delivery companies can collect from local restaurants,” according to a press release. These proposals are aimed at helping local businesses and the local hospitality industry to bounce back from the effects of COVID-19.

Regarding the sidewalk cafes, “qualified” businesses would be allowed to construct a temporary platform in the parking spaces in front of their business to be an outdoor dining area. It will also allow businesses located across the street from municipal parks to extend seating to the sidewalk immediately in front of the park, with a pathway designated for pedestrians.

Regarding the commission cap, the proposed legislation will “cap the commission collected by third-party delivery companies” get at 10% during the NJ State of Emergency.

Both pieces of legislation are up for a first reading on Wednesday evening.

Jersey City Council Appoints Yousef Saleh as Ward D Councilman

jersey city coronavirus updates

Following the passing of Jersey City councilman Michael Yun, his Ward D seat was up to be filled. Now, however, the JC City Council has reached an agreement — former Board of Education candidate Yousef Saleh “gained council approval with a 6-2 vote to replace the late Ward D Councilman Michael Yun,” according to NJ.com.

 Jersey City to Begin Antibody Testing on Monday, May 4th

Following the news that all Jersey City residents, with and without COVID-19 symptoms, are eligible for testing, Mayor Steven Fulop announced that the city will begin testing for antibodies as well on Monday, May 4th.

“We’ll start on Monday w/2100 tests per week {similar # to nasal swab that we’ll continue doing}. We’ll test our front line employees for the 1st part of next week then begin testing [the] public free ‪of charge towards the end of next week,” he said on Facebook. “This is part of our initiatives around broader testing for our residents so that we can get the city functioning again. ‬We will begin taking calls on Wednesday morning to schedule public appointments for antibody testing.”

Hoboken Girl Team to Hold a Moment of Silence for Those Who Have Passed Due to COVID-19 on 5/6

On Wednesday, May 6th, join the Hoboken Girl team for a countywide moment of silence for those who have lost their lives to COVID-19. On the evening of Wednesday, May 6th, we will all take to our windows or balconies in a collective moment of silence at 8:30PM to pay respects to those who have passed away due to the virus.

 

Hoboken Native, Actor Joe Pantoliano, Struck By A Car

{Photo via @realjoeypants}

Joe Pantoliano, a native to Hoboken, was hit by a car while taking a walk near his home in Wilton, Connecticut last night.

The 68-year-old actor is famous for bringing his Mile Square mannerisms to well-known movies such as Risky BusinessThe GooniesThe Matrix, and The Sopranos. He is home and recovering after a car reportedly t-boned another vehicle, which then collided with Pantoliano, hMag.com reported.

His Instagram posted the message, “He has a severe head injury and some chest trauma. He is going to be dark for a couple days while recovering. Thank you for all the well wishes and positive vibes. Keep them coming!

Pantoliano was born in Hoboken in 1951 and we wish him a quick and easy recovery!

Jersey City to Reopen Four More Parks + Farmers Markets

Jersey City will reopen four more parks after initially opening five on Monday, Hudson County View reported yesterday.

The four additional parks set to reopen are Columbia Park, Mary Benson Park, Arlington Park, and Ercel Webb Park.

The City will also begin to reopen farmers’ markets, starting with the Paulus Hook market on May 9th, followed by the Grove Street market on May 11th, with additional markets to follow.

“We’re working with the farmers and our neighborhood organizations to be able to open the farmers’ market as we do every year, which is a tactic we’ve expanded in recent years to enhance healthy food access that is traditionally lacking in urban settings,” said Director of Health and Human Services Stacey Flanagan.

Each market will be mandated to abide by social distancing rules. Customers will not be allowed to pick their own produce but can provide a verbal shopping list to staff or use the market’s pre-order service for pickup. This comes a week after the city reopened five parks citywide where social distancing measures are mandated and only non-contact, passive recreation is permitted.

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.