Menendez promotes small business
HOBOKEN – U.S. Sen. Robert Menendez visited Big Fun Toys on Washington Street on Friday. Senator Menendez visited Hoboken to promote “Small Business Saturday” and stressed the importance of shopping at small businesses to help restore losses from Hurricane Sandy.
“The power is back on, the flood waters have receded,” said Menendez, “but small businesses are facing significant challenges, all of them facing well over a week of losses.”
Menendez urged shoppers to shop small and shop local to get the vibrancy of main streets back.
“The question is, will Washington Street keep its economic vitality?” Menendez said.
Menendez explained there are plans in Washington to offer tax breaks and incentives, particularly to those small businesses who suffered losses from Sandy.
“Small businesses give our communities their character. They employ many local residents. Small business may be small in size, but they are enormous in numbers and impact,” he said.
Menedez was accompanied by Jorge Silva-Puras, U.S. Small Business Administration Regional Administrator.
Joe Biden tours Hoboken
Vice President Joe Biden surveyed hurricane damage in Hoboken Sunday, specifically in and around the PATH station and Hoboken Terminal. Biden was accompanied at a press conference that followed by Rep. Albio Sires, U.S. Senators Robert Menedez and Frank Lautenberg, Mayor Dawn Zimmer, and Lieutenant Governor Kim Guadagno. Vice President Biden arrived in Hoboken after an aerial look at the ravaged shoreline by helicopter, and a stop in Seaside Heights.
“The devastation is real,” Biden said.
The vice president made it clear at the press conference that his focus is not only to restore the transportation infrastructure, but also make it much more resilient for the future. The PATH station is still down, without a projected date to open.
“We need to make sure commuters get back to work, and we need to get the PATH back in service. But we also need to build beyond that, build for the future. I doubt this will be the last perfect storm the East Coasts sees,” Biden said. “It will occur again. We need to make permanent repairs.”
Biden was described at the press conference as “in many ways a Jersey boy himself, having spent time on the Jersey shore and marrying a Jersey girl.” Lt. Governor Kim Guadagno later added that the Vice President need to “see the devastation for himself, to talk to people on the ground.” Biden stressed his commitment to stay engaged for the long haul. “The president and I are determined, and we’re not going anywhere,” said Biden. “I am absolutely confident that we’re going to come back better, but it is going to be tough in the meantime.”
Sires said, “You can sum up all of the comments in one word. Help.”
Zimmer addressed the ongoing issue of flood insurance in Hoboken. “The challenging reality is that the government will not cover all of Hoboken’s losses,” Zimmer said. She urged people to donate to RebuildHoboken.org.
Vice President Biden also offered personal thanks to all of the first responders.
Recently-opened Mama Johnson Field to cost $20,000
At the Nov. 19 meeting of the Hoboken Housing Authority Board of Commissioners, Executive Director Carmelo Garcia presented a recap of the damage suffered by the authority due to Hurricane Sandy while the commissioners shared their own stories of relief.
The HHA is estimating $1.5 million plus in damages, which includes the full shut-down of the administrative offices and relocation of the senior buildings, the destruction of 10 generators, many boilers, alarm panels, elevator controllers and the cost to sanitize all playgrounds and buildings touched by contaminated water. The recently-opened Mama Johnson Field will cost $20,000 to restore and sanitize alone.
“Although exhausted, we will continue to work hard on getting back to normalcy as our progress to make Vision 2020 a reality is more evident after this disaster!” Garcia said of his plan for the future of the housing authority.
In other meeting business, the board voted to make a $10,000 donation to HOPES for its resident self-sufficiency programs. The resolution for a one-year extermination services contract was rejected. The resolutions to hire professionals for general legal services and Web master were both tabled, and the resolution to appoint an auditor, Hymanson, Parnes & Giampaolo, C.P.A., for auditing services was rejected. All rejections were by a 4 to 3 vote.
Get inspired by TEDx
TEDx is on its way to Hoboken. The once-somewhat underground global brand Technology, Entertainment and Design (TED), focused on “ideas worth spreading” through conferences, is making its way to Hoboken thanks to founder of Elizabeth Barry & Associates, and Hoboken resident Elizabeth Barry.
TEDx brings together curators, impassioned speakers and experts in their field or simply those who have ideas worth spreading, at a local level. The concept of TEDx, is also spreading. These speakers have 18 minutes or less to inspire their audience.
“It used to be an underground thing,” said Barry, “but it caught on. TEDx events are happening worldwide and this is the first ever TEDx to hit Hoboken.”
Barry said that over 220 people signed up at the Hoboken Arts and Music Festival and the first mixer saw over 270 guests. Now, Barry is gearing up for TEDx Women on Dec 1, with an impressive line-up of speakers.
The main TEDx event is scheduled for June 2013. These conferences are like a “brain spa,” Barry explained. Past TED conferences have been 5 full day events that can see ticket prices in the $10K range.
“These speakers ‘wow’ you,” said Barry. “They are not there for a shameless self-promotion. People promoting a book or themselves, or selling something are considered a ‘faux pas.’ It’s an honor to be a TEDx curator, you even need a license. I also had to get a license to bring TED to Hoboken.”
“Sister” events, “salon” events, and other simulcast TED events, may cost only $20, like Barry’s upcoming TEDx Women event. The event will be held at Room 84, 84 Washington St. on Saturday, Dec. 1, beginning at 8 a.m. with coffee and a live performance. The day will offer three live simulcast talks and end with a cocktail party featuring $5 drinks and a female DJ. There is also a video, a phone app, and a web app to be revealed for the event. Men are welcome to attend.
For more information visit http://www.ted.com/tedx/events/6920
It’s a wonderful play about a wonderful life
Mile Square Theatre will be presenting a revival of “It’s A Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play” from Dec. 6 through Dec. 23 at the Monroe Theatrespace, 720 Monroe St, second floor. “It’s A Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play” is a take on the classic film by Frank Capra. Mile Square Theatre transforms its space into a 1940’s radio station. Five actors perform dozens of characters. The show will run Thursdays through Saturdays at 8 p.m. Matinees will also run on Saturdays and Sundays at 3 p.m. Tickets are $20 and are available online at www.milesquaretheatre.org and at the Monroe Theatrespace box office, or by calling (201) 683-7014. On Thursday, Dec. 13 at 8 p.m. there will be a special pay what you will performance allowing audience members to pay whatever they wish to attend. Press contact for the event Joe Gallo said, “If there was ever a time in Hoboken for a George Bailey, it’s now.” Joseph Gallo can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
James Doyle removed from City Council
Hudson County Assignment Judge Bariso ruled Nov. 16 that that five affirmative votes were needed to appoint James Doyle to a vacant position on the Hoboken City Council. Thus, the position will likely remain vacant until a new appointment can be made.
Doyle was appointed on Oct. 3 to fill a vacancy left when Carol Marsh, an ally of the mayor, resigned. With Marsh gone, the council was split into four council people who were allies of Mayor Dawn Zimmer, and four who are opposed. Zimmer’s allies appointed Doyle.
Then, the other four members of the City Council filed a lawsuit in Superior Court of New Jersey in October aimed at overturning the appointment.
The four council members who filed are Theresa Castellano, Beth Mason, Tim Occhipinti and Michael Russo. Defendants in the case were the remaining members of council: Ravinder Bhalla, Jennifer Giattino, David Mello, and Council President Peter Cunningham. Zimmer is also a defendant.
The law over municipal vacancy appointment stipulates that the governing body may fill the vacancy by “majority” vote. If all eight remaining members of the council had attended the Oct 3 meeting, this likely would have led to a 4 to 4 tie. In the event of a tie, the law empowers the mayor to cast a fifth, tie-breaking vote. The final vote on Oct 3 was 4 in favor, 2 opposed, 1 abstention and 1 absence, making what comprised a “majority” questionable. Mason was absent from the meeting.
Both sides differ on what this means for the filling of the (now) vacant seat. City Spokesman Juan Melli issued a press release saying that litigation is likely to continue.
Hudson Dance and Movement presenting ‘The Nutcracker’
Hudson Ballet of Hudson Dance and Movement, 70 Hudson St, will present “The Nutcracker” on Saturday Dec. 8, at 1 p.m. at Hoboken High School. This year’s performance of “The Nutcracker” will serve as a holiday benefit for the Rebuild Hoboken Relief Fund.
Hoboken Chiropractor offered complimentary massages
Dr. Dina Sgambati of Priority Chiropractics and Wellness, 51 Newark St, gave complimentary massages to teachers and staff of the Hoboken Charter School on Tuesday, Nov. 20. The massages were once scheduled to help ease tension of the staff after the Sept. 6 fire. After Hurricane Sandy, Sgambati felt even more compelled to ease stress. Sgambati gave five-minute trigger point massages to the staff, a special massage to relieve stress. She is offering complimentary trigger point therapy workshops at her office and to community groups who want to learn techniques. Sgambati is concerned with residents engaged in rescue and demolition efforts who may not be aware of steps they can take to minimize pain. For more information contact (201) 533-1077 or visit www.prioritychironj.com
Oral History of ‘Firehouse’ on Sunday, Dec. 2
The Hoboken Historical Museum and the Friends of the Hoboken Public Library will present an oral history chapbook on Sunday, Dec 2 at 4 p.m. The event will be held at the Hoboken Fire Department Museum, 213 Bloomfield St. and is free to attend. The reading will be from “The Firehouse: Recollections of Bill Bergin,” which chronicles true accounts of Bergin’s 31 years fighting fires with the Hoboken Fire Department.