BETZ, MARY E.
May 28, 2017 | 98 views | 0 0 comments | 2 2 recommendations | email to a friend | print
A mass of Christian burial was celebrated May 24 at St. Michael R. C. Church for Mary E. Betz, 97, of UNICO Towers, Jersey City. She passed away at Peace Care St. Joseph’s on May 21after a brief illness. A lifelong resident of downtown Jersey City, Mary worked as the building supervisor of Murdoch Hall of the Jersey City Medical Center, retiring in 1989 after 25 years. She was also a Democratic Committeewoman, Ward Leader for Downtown and was honored as Irishwoman of the Year in 1989. Mary was a devoted member of St. Michael Church and was a member of the Theresians. She was also a dedicated fan of the New York Mets, celebrating her 95th birthday at Citi Field. She was the mother of MaryAnn McBride and her husband William; grandmother of William and his wife Jessica; sister of the late Catherine Angerstein and Frank “Yogi” O’Donnell. Mary is also survived by several nieces and nephews and best friend, Joan Cunning and family. Services arranged by the McLaughlin Funeral Home, Jersey City.
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ESPOSITO, MORRIS
May 28, 2017 | 34 views | 0 0 comments | 2 2 recommendations | email to a friend | print
A funeral mass offered May 23 at Our Lady of Fatima RC Church, North Bergen, for Morris Esposito, 92. He passed away May 20. Morris was born in Union City and lived in North Bergen for the last 69 years. He was predeceased by his parents Atillio and Angelina (Sinatra). He is survived by his wife Marian (Perrone) of 69 years; his daughter Janet Fogarty and her husband Richard; son Martin and his late wife Patricia; his grandchildren Richard Fogarty and his wife Jeanette, Ryan Fogarty, and Mac Esposito, and great grandchildren Richard and Dylan Fogarty. Morris was employed by Carolace Embroidery Co. in Ridgefield as an import/export manager. He was an avid gardener and a skilled craftsman. He loved spending time with his family. Services arranged by the A.K. Macagna Funeral Home, Cliffside Park.
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GARGIULO, ANTHONY
May 28, 2017 | 30 views | 0 0 comments | 2 2 recommendations | email to a friend | print
A funeral service was held May 25 at St. Aedan’s Church, Jersey City, for Anthony Gargiulo, 89. He passed away May 21. Son of Louis and Ausilia Gargiulo, Anthony was born and raised in Jersey City. He was a graduate of St. Peter’s Preparatory High School where he was a member of the 1945 County Championship Football Team. He was owner/CEO of Louis Gargiulo Company, which was established in 1938 and continues today. Anthony Gargiulo played an active role in many Hudson County community and charity organizations. He was a member of the Board of Trustees at St. Peter’s Prep for six years. He served on the Archdiocese Laity Committee of Newark. He also served as a member of the Board of Trustees for Local 29, the Cement Finishers & Plasters Local, and Local 10, the Hudson County Bricklayers Local. He was president of the Board of Trustees at St. Francis Hospital where he served over fifteen years. He was a member of the statewide board for the Bricklayers Health Fund Union. He was honored as the United Way Man of the Year in 1984 for his contribution to the youth of Jersey City. Anthony was predeceased by his daughters Celia and Lisa Gargiulo and his sister Christina D’Elia. He is survived by his wife of 65 years Grace (nee Simeone); sisters Rosalie Maguire and Elizabeth Valanzola; sons Louis and Peter; daughters Michelina Cirello and her husband Alan, Maria-Grace DiCondina and her husband Tom, and Bettina Kretz and her husband Don; Proud grandfather of fifteen grandchildren and two great grandchildren as well as many nieces, nephews, cousins, and friends. Services arranged by the Riotto Funeral Home and Cremation Company, Jersey City.
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Teacher’s union withdraws Chiaravalloti support
Philosophical feud fuels assembly primary battle
by Al Sullivan and Rory Pasquariello
Reporter staff writer
May 28, 2017 | 180 views | 0 0 comments | 0 0 recommendations | email to a friend | print
TEACHERS UNION TAKES BACK ENDORSEMENT – Ron Greco, president of the Jersey City Education Association, rescinded the endorsement of Nicholas Chiaravalloti.
TEACHERS UNION TAKES BACK ENDORSEMENT – Ron Greco, president of the Jersey City Education Association, rescinded the endorsement of Nicholas Chiaravalloti.
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The Jersey City Education Association (JCEA) has rescinded its endorsement of Assemblyman Nicholas Chiaravalloti, who is seeking a second term in the state Assembly representing the 31st District encompassing Bayonne and parts of Jersey City. The Democratic primary election will be held on June 6 and the general election is on Nov. 8. Organizations rarely rescind endorsements. But the JCEA, a teachers’ union that has also endorsed Kristen Zadroga-Hart for Assembly, made the decision after they linked a pro-school voucher program to Chiaravalloti. Recently, Better Education 4 NJ Kids, a political action committee that supports public school privatization and voucher programs, distributed literature throughout Bayonne and Jersey City that included pictures of Chiaravalloti and his Hudson County Democratic Organization-backed running mate, Assemblywoman Angela McKnight. Zadroga-Hart is running on a ticket challenging the HCDO-backed candidates. The inclusion of their images with this literature implied that Chiaravalloti and McKnight are sympathetic to public-school privatization and voucher programs. However, they have never publicly endorsed this position. “On behalf of the JCEA PAC and our 4,000 members, I am officially rescinding our endorsement and support of Nick Chiaravalloti, due to his apparent collusion with an anti-labor independent expenditure that is now working on his behalf,” said JCEA President Ron Greco in the press release.
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“It’s surprising to see the Jersey City Education Association break with their state organization in this way, but that will not deter me from doing what’s right and fighting for public education.” – Nicholas Chiaravalloti
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“I have been endorsed by the New Jersey Education Association (NJEA) because I am a strong ally on all the issues that are important to teachers, like fully funding our public schools and pension system and getting rid of high stakes standardized testing requirements,” Chiaravalloti said. “It’s surprising to see the Jersey City Education Association break with their state organization in this way, but that will not deter me from doing what’s right and fighting for public education.” This is not a new conflict The JCEA has had a long-standing conflict with Better Education for Kids (BE4NJK), a conservative group backed by billionaire hedge funder manager David Tepper, and the dispute has spilled over into the 31st District Democratic primary on June 6. The JCEA and Tepper have been at odds over the future of the school district for several years with each supporting opposing candidates. Some board members allegedly supported by Tepper’s organization helped appoint School Superintendent Dr. Marcia Lyles four years ago. Tepper’s organization strongly supports charter schools and school choice for parents, which the union opposes. Strong union activity has since shifted the balance of power on the board in the union’s favor. The JCEA originally split tickets for its endorsement, supporting Chiaravalloti, backed by the Hudson County Democratic Organization, and Zadroga-Hart. Hart is running with Christopher Munoz. McKnight has a voting record that supports a progressive agenda, but she also is a vocal supporter of charter schools. In an email withdrawing the support, the JCEA said Tepper’s organization had ties to Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, an appointee of President Donald Trump, and accused both Chiaravalloti and McKnight of being willing “to take money and support” from this organization. DeVos has espoused a philosophy that would promote charter schools and establish a system of school vouchers which would allow funding to follow students even if they choose schools other than public schools. Tepper’s organization has been a strong supporter of a number of reforms similar to those DeVos proposes, but has denied being a supporter of Trump. Tepper has been very critical of Trump in the past. Those associated with Chiaravalloti said their campaign took no funds from Tepper or the organization he founded, disputing claims Greco made. They were surprised by the JCEA’s action rescinding the endorsement, partly because nobody from the teachers’ union contacted them ahead of time to inquire about the flyer. Shelly Skinner, executive director of BE4NJK, said the organization’s support for Chiaravalloti and McKnight was based on their legislative positions regarding education. “We think they do good things for children and care about the kids and that’s what people want to see,” she said. “They are good legislators and promote good policy for the students.” She also disputed the claim that the organization was pro-Trump. “This shouldn’t be about conservative or liberal, it should be about what’s good for kids,” she said. Expecting the unexpected? The original political endorsement and its withdrawal by the JCEA were considered unusual since this is the first time JCEA has endorsed in an assembly primary. But some people close to the election actually predicted the JCEA would endorse Munoz over Chiaravalloti in the first place. “I was surprised and it was a momentary disappointment when it went to him,” Munoz said. “But I knew many of the teachers were with me and their vote doesn’t often reflect their leadership. But I have to commend the JCEA for this decision. This is what I tried to warn them about. My opponents are not pro-public schools.” Munoz said neither action by the JCEA will change his game plan, and that he will continue to seek the support of teachers. Munoz is a teacher and currently a trustee on the Bayonne Board of Education. Although seen as an underdog in this race with respect to money raised, Munoz said he has been very careful not to seek donations from anyone doing business with the city or the school district. “Most of my donations average between $25 and $50, and come from people who might not be able to afford to give,” he said. Zadroga-Hart, a teacher in the Jersey City school system and JCEA member, said she believes the conservative organization has long supported McKnight. “Which makes sense given her active support for charters,” she said, noting that part of the reason for the original JCEA endorsement of Chiaravalloti had to do with his refusing to take donations from charter school advocates and that he supported a moratorium on charter schools. After the JCEA conducted interviews of the candidates, it determined she and Chiaravalloti supported the issues of the union and its membership. “Fast forward to last week, when the BE4NJK sends out mailers in support of both candidates, I assume, casting doubts on Nick’s claim that he refuses support from education reformers, especially when he did not come out and publicly say he does not want nor accept their support,” she said. “The JCEA members were furious that we endorsed a candidate that is supported by the very people we have been fighting to get off and keep off the BOE for fear of turning into Newark Public Schools.” A lot of discussion Greco of the JCEA, said the union had a lot of internal discussion with a governing board of directors “It wasn’t an easy decision, but given that Angela (McKnight) is his running mate, she has a horrible track record here because she’s been very adversarial to board members we elected. As a local decision, it was a hard decision. It was something we had to do because we were flooded with hundreds of members contacting us saying why are we endorsing someone aligned with McKnight? We wanted to be sure that we were doing the right thing. We looked at the entire issue.” Greco said candidates can accept donations from anyone. “But this organization [the BE4NJK] is completely unorthodox in what they do. They have a terrible track record in Newark. They bankrolled candidates in Jersey City.” Greco predicted that the voucher program will be stepped up under President Trump and DeVos. “I believe something will happen very quickly in the Supreme Court to push vouchers and to further expand the charter movement and these corporations such as BE4NJK that run for profit schools,” Greco said. “How do I think it’s going to affect public education? It’s all semantics. We have approximately 40 school sites in Jersey City, most of them traditional public school buildings.” On allocating $55 million to charter schools in the local school budget, he said: “That’s $55 million you’re shortchanging public schools. It’s like having two districts. It’s putting a great strain on the system.” Al Sullivan may be reached at asullivan@hudsonreporter.com.
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‘A step in the right direction’
City introduces redevelopment plan for southwest, with nearly 400 housing units
by Marilyn Baer
Reporter Staff Writer
May 28, 2017 | 172 views | 0 0 comments | 0 0 recommendations | email to a friend | print

The Hoboken City Council voted 8-0 to introduce ordinances and one resolution pertaining to the redevelopment of southwest Hoboken in a special council meeting last week called by the mayor. (Councilman Michael Russo was absent.) The measures are still up for several other votes before they become law. After introducing the Southwest Redevelopment Plan, the council referred it to the Hoboken Planning Board for review. Some residents of the fourth ward believe the plan should require additional residential units. The council also introduced an ordinance to authorize an offer for the acquisition of land for park expansion on Block 10, Lots 1-7 and 30-36, presently owned by Academy Bus, based on a $3,975,000 appraisal of the property. The Planning Board will review the redevelopment measure for consistency with the city’s Master Plan for zoning, and is scheduled to discuss it and issue their recommendations at their May 31 meeting. Then the plan will return to the council for a public hearing and second reading before a vote and final adoption. New proposed zoning overlay The plan covers the Southwest Rehabilitation Area, 14 blocks located mostly in Hoboken’s 4th Ward, generally south and west of Paterson Avenue extending to the Jersey City border, which runs approximately along the Hudson Bergen Light rail tracks. The current industrial zoning in the area allows for offices, vehicle storage, auto services, food processing and related storage and distributive activities, retail, public buildings and uses, such as equipment garages, parking facilities, parks and playgrounds, wireless telecommunications, and manufacturing. The redevelopment plan would overlay low density mixed use space, office space, neighborhood retail, a hotel, expanded park space, urban manufacturing, and parking with low density mixed use. In total the redevelopment plan proposes a maximum of 392 residential units, 40 of which will be affordable housing. The plan breaks down the rehabilitation area into six sub-areas and outlines the total number of residential units, building requirements, and permitted uses in each section. In addition to the zoning overlay allowing for property owners who voluntarily wish to redevelop their land in the area, the plan also includes the possibility of new access roads in the area. The plan allows for the possible extension of Marshall Street southward connecting to Observer Highway, as well as a possible new road on the west side of the light rail tracks that would connect Paterson Plank Road with Coles Street as recommended in the Hoboken-Jersey City Subregional Connectivity Study. More parkland? The city wants to acquire the southern portion of Block 10, almost 1 acre, to expand the Southwest Park now under construction. The redevelopment plan would allow for this further expansion of the Southwest Park to include the northern portion of Block 10. In February, the council authorized the use of eminent domain to acquire land owned by Academy Bus for the park’s expansion. Academy’s land is bounded by Paterson Avenue, Harrison Street, Observer Highway, and the light rail tracks. Academy has fought the potential eminent domain threat with an ad campaign touting its status as a good neighbor. They have said the property is worth $13 million and that they have offered the city the land if the city will let them redevelop part of their property into high density mixed use buildings. According to Hoboken resident and Academy Bus’s Vice President of Real Estate David Lehmkuhl, the city has not held any meetings with Academy Bus to discuss the property. “There have been no meetings at all with the city of Hoboken. They scheduled a meeting for two weeks ago but it was cancelled at the last minute,” he said in an interview last week. 4th Ward input Fourth Ward Councilman Ruben Ramos, who serves on the southwest redevelopment subcommittee, said overall his constituents are excited about the park and establishing a neighborhood. Resident Antonio Grana said he believes the redevelopment plan is “a really good step in the right direction.” He called the park “the glue that holds everything together, that’s the glue, and the park has the potential to be heart of the neighborhood.” But he said in order for that to be the case the city should allow for more residential units, and ensure commercial spaces are near the park. “There needs to be a major increase in ground floor commercial services at the ground floor. That’s what this neighborhood has missed,” said Grana. “We need to collect those things together and put them around one place and that place is the park. To support those commercial services and not jack up the people driving, you have to have a mixed-use neighborhood, residential density, that puts people [walking] on the street, otherwise you end up with dead commercial spaces and parks.” Grana said he would also like to see some of Hoboken’s industrial structures preserved as they “remind us of our industrial past… and give an identity to the neighborhood.”
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“We will all suffer if the plan doesn’t propose densities that will incentives property owners.” –Gregory Dell’Aquila
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Local business owner Gregory Dell’Aquila, owner of the Hoboken Business Center located in the redevelopment area, said while he approves of the plan, he believes the city needs to rethink the proposed residential density. “I’m fearful that the proposed densities in the draft redevelopment plan for the southwest won’t incentivize property owners and potential developers to build what’s being allowed by this new plan,” said Dell’Aquila, who thinks with these low-density units, not enough people will demand services and restaurants. “We will all suffer if the plan doesn’t propose densities that will incentivize property owners.” Dell’Aquila, who established the Hoboken Business Center in the early 2000, said, “We are on an island in a dessert. We are starving for services like restaurants and things people go to and populate around. There is no reason for people to come to this neighborhood now. “ He compared the area to northwestern Hoboken before the Biergarten was built on 15th Street. “Pre-Biergarten, no one was going north of the viaduct unless they were getting plumbing supplies or were a bus driver. Post Biergarten, people are everywhere.” Dell’Aquilla said the viaduct back then is like Paterson Avenue now. “No one will pass the ‘barricade’,” he said. Ramos said he is hoping the new residential units will make the neighborhood more vibrant and lively, and said he believes the plan will go through several more iterations and changes before it is approved. “Ultimately, this is just a first step in the right direction,” said Ramos. “When the plan is finalized, we want to see great architecture that attracts people but won’t compromise the historical integrity of the area. We want it to be a cool, hip spot that people want to go to.” Marilyn Baer can be reached at marilynb@hudsonreporter.com.
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