Studio Tour continues
The 23 Annual Artists’ Studio Tour weekend, which was scheduled to get underway with a kickoff party held Friday night at the Tenmarc Building, continues on Saturday, Oct. 5 and Sunday, Oct. 6.
Hosted and organized by the nonprofit organization Pro Arts and the Jersey City Division of Cultural Affairs, the annual Artists’ Studio Tour is a free two-day self-guided walking tour of galleries, exhibitions, artists’ studios, and art in public spaces. The Hudson Reporter is a tour cosponsor.
The tour, which has grown in recent years, showcases the work of professional artists who live and create in Jersey City, but whose art may be unfamiliar to the larger community. While many sites along the tour route are located downtown, organizers said there will be several dynamic group shows in the Jersey City Heights, Greenville, and Bergen-Lafayette communities as well.
This year there are about 400 artists showing their work in roughly 75 different venues throughout the city.
Reporter freelancer Alyssa Bredin is among the artists whose work is exhibited at the Tenmarc Building. Bredin’s photography is included in the group show of St. Peter’s University alumni.
New York City Environmental Control Board Ruling a victory for AirBnB – and the short-term rental economy in Hudson County
Two weeks ago, the New York City Environmental Control Board ruled in favor of a landlord and tenant who had previously been fined for being in violation of the city’s short-term rental laws after the tenant rented out a room in his apartment via website AirBnB.
The popular website allows people to advertise or rent rooms for short periods of time, usually just a few days, for a fraction of the cost of a standard hotel room. The site has become popular with thrifty international tourists and travelers, and has been used to lease rooms and homes throughout Hudson County.
But in some cities there have been questions regarding whether these short-term rentals violate local hotel laws and other ordinances designed to distinguish hotels from apartments.
In a case that was closely followed by users of AirBnB in Hudson County, the landlord of New York City resident Nigel Warren was initially fined $2,400 for being in violation of that city’s short-term rental laws after Warren subleased a room in his apartment to a renter through AirBnB. Warren ended up paying the fine on behalf of the landlord. Under New York City law, it is generally illegal to rent an apartment for a period of less than a month.
Warren appealed the fine. AirBnB represented Warren in his appeal.
Last week, the New York City Environmental Control Board revered the $2,400 fine, ruling that these laws were originally put in place to discourage large property owners from running de facto hotels by renting out their apartments for short periods of time. The board further ruled that the city’s short-term rentals laws are not violated by AirBnB rentals, so long as a permanent resident of the home is present during the traveler’s stay.
In a statement issued last week, AirBnB Global Public Policy Director David Hantman said the company will continue to work to clarify this and similar local laws that may put its users in jeopardy.
The Reporter was notified of this ruling by a Jersey City resident who lives in the Beacon who recently rented out a room in his condo while he was away in Europe.
Residents welcome plan to increase cabs on Jersey City streets; taxi owners less enthusiastic
A plan by Jersey City to increase the number of cabs with city-approved taxi licenses is being applauded by commuters who rely on cabs, but has rankled taxi cab owners and drivers.
For the past several years, residents have complained that Jersey City does not have enough taxis at its four designated cab stand or patrolling the streets to meet it growing population, a problems lat can lead to long wait times for cabs, especially on weekends, late nights, or during inclement weather. The wait time for a cab at the Journal Square taxi stand, the city’s busiest taxi stand, can sometimes be as long as 30 minutes.
After months of complaints from commuters, the city – under the administration of former mayor Jerramiah T. Healy, last year tried to increase the number of cabs at the Journal Square stand during designated peak hours. This experiment ended and was not extended, however, after cab owners complained that this change was made without their input.
The city is now poised to address the problem again, this time under the administration of Mayor Steven Fulop.
If the plan is approved by the City Council, the administration plans to hold public auctions for city-issued cab licenses. Assuming that all of the licenses are sold, residents will have access to 20 additional cabs in the city.
“Great. Can’t happen soon enough,” said Greg Toback, a Jersey City resident who takes cabs from the Journal Square PATH Station to his home in the Heights. He said he regularly waits 15 top 20 minutes for a cab, although has waited longer when it’s raining or snowing.
But Eric Kwless, the owner of Alex Taxi, said the plan violates an agreement cab owners have with the city.
“We were told last year by the Division of Commerce that they would tell us if they were making any changes. No one told us about this plan. We are just hearing about it,” Kwless said.
Under the administration’s plan, the Journal Square taxi stand would get three additional cabs. The downtown taxi stand at Grove Street would get two additional cabs. The Exchange Place stand would get two additional taxis. And the stand at Newport would get four additional cabs. Nine licenses would be sold for cabs that are not tied to a designated taxi stand.
The taxi licenses would be sold for prices ranging from $50,000 to $100,000, depending on which stand a taxi services, and the Fulop administration expects the sale of the licenses to be a big revenue generator for the city.
City to celebrate Columbus Day
On Saturday, Oct. 12 at 1 p.m., Jersey City will honor its rich Italian heritage with the Columbus Day Parade, which will get underway at Newark Avenue and Sixth Street. The parade route goes east, then south to City Hall at 280 Grove St.
This year’s event, re-established by the Dante Alighieri Society of Jersey City, marks the fifth year the Columbus Day Parade will take place in one of Jersey City’s most established Italian-American neighborhoods, a neighborhood that includes Holy Rosary Church, the oldest Italian parish in New Jersey.
This year’s parade honorees includes Grand Marshall Ignatius Scalia, D.M.D; Deputy Grand Marshall Hudson County Freeholder Anthony Romano; Italian Woman of the Year Maria T. Maio-Messano; Italian Man of the Year Louis Tiscornia; Italian Police Officer of the Year Christopher Viera; Italian Firefighter of the Year Constance Zappella; Italian Businessman of the Year Joseph Napolitano, Jr.; Honorary Italian Woman of the Year Candice Osborne; Honorary Italian Man of the Year Rev. “Jerzy” Zaslona, Pastor of Holy Rosary Church; and Miss Columbus Gina Nicole Gonzalez.
‘The Last American Guido’ to be screened at Landmark Loew’s
Jersey City Police Officer and film director Vito LaBruno will hold a screening of his latest movie, “The Last American Guido,” at the Landmark Lowes Jersey Theatre on Thursday, Oct.24 at 8 p.m.
Individual tickets are $11.54, including the online service fee, and can be purchased through https://thelastamericanguido.eventbrite.com.
The Iron Monkey kicks off month of seasonal events
This weekend, The Iron Money will turn its rooftop into a pumpkin patch to kick off a month of Halloween and other seasonal events especially timed for the fall. There will be contests, giveaways, specialty cocktails, and specials on seasonal craft beers.
Sponsored by Jameson, Absolut, and Patron, more than 500 pumpkins from Ort Farms in Long Valley, New Jersey, will be available on Oct. 5 from noon till 4 p.m. The event, which will feature pumpkin picking, painting, face painting, goodie bags, and other activities for the kids, is free and open to the public.
In addition to the Saturday pumpkin patch, on Sunday, Oct. 6 the restaurant will feature a pumpkin carving contest. Participants must submit a carved pumpkin between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. to be considered for the competition. Participation is open to three age groups: 5 to 11 years, 12 to 17 years, and adults 18 and older. Registration is limited to 24 people per age group. Participants must e-mail Joanna@ironmonkey.com to register.
The Pumpkin Patch Fest is the first event for a month of planned specials and giveaways, including a Halloween costume party and contest planned for Saturday, Oct. 26.
For more information call (201) 435-5756 or e-mail Joanna@ironmonkey.com.
NAMI Hudson holding presentation Oct. 8
NAMI Hudson, a nonprofit group for loved ones of people with mental illness, will hold a presentation, “Plan NJ,” on Oct. 8 from 7 to 9 p.m. at the Hoboken Community Mental Health Center, 506 Third St. Parking is available behind the center.
Plan NJ (Planned Lifetime Network of NJ) is a non-profit organization that helps consumers and their families answer the question, “Who will care for my loved one when I am gone?” Plan NJ can help families with monitoring, advocacy, guardianship, coaching, guidance, permanent repository, community and private trust administration, and benefits administration.
“Plan NJ can help with a one-time effort that will assist in helping with the financial, legal, and social resources needed for the consumer's future,” said Agnes Byrne of NAMI. “After the plan is created, there is an opportunity to update as needed.”
There is a cost involved, but it is within the reach of most families, according to Byrne. Financial assistance and scholarship may be available.
For more information, call Kristiana Kalab at (862) 754-6654 or NamiHudson@msn.com for more information.
Volunteers wanted for Hudson Medical Reserve Corps
If you would like to volunteer during public health emergencies and natural disasters in Hudson County or elsewhere, the Hudson Regional Health Commission (HRHC) Medical Reserve Corps (MRC) is looking for you.
MRC units are made up of locally based volunteers (with or without a medical background). They include medical and public health professionals such as physicians, nurses, pharmacists, mental health professionals, dentists, veterinarians, and epidemiologists. Other community members, such as interpreters, chaplains, office workers, and legal advisers, fill vital support positions.
Volunteers give a minimal amount of time and have the choice to respond locally only or to be deployed outside the county. MRC volunteers were an important part of the Superstorm Sandy response. They gave more than 450 hours, helping at shelters and acting as translators.
Volunteers participate in various trainings and drills throughout the year, enhancing their preparedness skills, and heightening their ability to respond to many different types of events.
Hudson County’s Emergency Management, police, fire, EMS, and public health professionals are working hard to identify, train for, and respond to emergencies that could impact those who live and work here, but more help is needed.
For more information, visit the HRHC website at www.hudsonregional.org and click on “Medical Reserve Corps” on the menu bar on the left. Interested individuals can also call Monique Davis, Hudson County MRC coordinator, or Christina Butieb-Bianco, assistant MRC coordinator, at (201) 223-1133 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.