Jersey City pension bill passes state Senate
Senate President Steve Sweeney, Assembly Speaker Vincent Prieto, Sen. Sandra Cunningham and Sen. Brian Stack, celebrating passage of the Jersey City pension bill, issued a joint statement saying: “We are proud to announce an agreement on important amendments to the Jersey City pension bill which will bring this legislation further in line with the state pension system. This will not only protect the hard working men and women of Jersey City, but will guarantee that the savings are used solely to improve the solvency of the pension system. Our collective goal remains doing what is best for Jersey City and this amended legislation does just that.”
Sweeney taps two Hudson County Senators for committee chairs
State Sen. Nicholas Sacco will chair the state Senate Transportation Committee and Sen. Sandra Bolden Cunningham will chair the Senate Higher Education Committee, said Senate President Steve Sweeney in making assignments for the 216th legislative session.
Chair people have a significant say on reviewing and proposing legislation. The senate committees run for the full term of the senate – which for this session is for four years.
The Higher Education Committee deals with issues concerning colleges and other post high school educational institutions. The Transportation Committee is considered one of the key committees in the state Senate – overseeing many of the operations of highway authorities.
Union County Sen. Ray Lesniak, who has ties to Hudson County, will chair the Economic Growth Committee.
Local Assembly members sworn in
Carmelo G. Garcia, from Hoboken, was among six Hudson County residents sworn-in during the New Jersey General Assembly reorganization meeting on Jan. 14. The afternoon ceremony at the War Memorial marked the commencement of the 216th Legislature. He will represent the 33rd District which includes a portion of Jersey City, Hoboken, Union City and Weehawken.
Garcia along with Raj Mukherji from Jersey City, are beginning their first term in the state Assembly after being elected in November.
They join veteran Hudson County Assembly members Jason O’Donnell and Charles Mainor, (31st Dist.) who represent half of Jersey City and Bayonne, and Assembly members Angelica Jimenez and Vincent Prieto (32nd Dist.) who represent Secaucus, North Bergen, West New York, Guttenberg and west Hudson County.
Prieto will also serve as the speaker for the state Assembly, one of the two most powerful posts in the state legislature.
Prieto is currently assigning committee posts to various assembly members. O’Donnell will return to the Labor Committee, Financial Institution Committee and Housing and Urban Development Committee. Other committee assignments are to be announced shortly.
A tribute to Mandela and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
The Kennedy Dancers and Spirit of Life Ensemble will present an artistic collaboration to honor Nelson Mandela and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. at the Miller Branch Library, 489 Bergen Ave. on Saturday, Jan. 18 at 8 p.m. For information, call (201) 547-6907 or email email@example.com
County may suspend corrections officer after feds file charges
The deputy director of the Hudson County Correctional Center surrendered today to law enforcement and was charged by complaint with illegally wiretapping fellow employees, U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman announced last week.
Kirk Eady, 45, of East Brunswick, N.J. is charged by complaint with one count of intentionally intercepting the wire, oral or electronic communications of others. He appeared before U.S. Magistrate Judge Joseph A. Dickson in Newark federal court.
Federal authorities raided the Hudson County Correctional Facility in Kearny last March in an apparent probe for records from administrative offices that could be tied to contracts with providers to the jail, said several county officials.
Federal officials said that between March 2012 and July 2012, Eady allegedly used the services of a publically available website to place telephone calls to four Hudson County Correctional Center employees. The website allowed Eady to conceal the telephone numbers from where the calls originated and also call and record two people simultaneously and make it appear as those people, and not Eady, originated the call. Eady allegedly recorded these telephone conversations and did not inform the Hudson County Correctional Center employees that he was recording them. Eady allegedly admitted to a cooperating witness that he had recorded conversations with three employees.
The illegal interception offense with which Eady is charged is punishable by a maximum potential penalty of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine.
Have a ball – Snow Ball that is
Snow Ball, one Jersey City’s most anticipated arts charity galas, will take place on Saturday, Jan. 25, at 8 p.m. Art House Productions’ eighth annual, black tie creative and colorful arts gala will take place in downtown Jersey City at Art House Productions near Hamilton Park. The event raises funds for the company’s upcoming season of theater, music, visual art, JC Fridays festivals, dance, comedy, and poetry events.
This year’s event will feature eclectic music by Vespertine, a Jersey City-based band playing popular songs with a loungy, bossa nova twist. The band members are Kilsy (lead vocalist - Kilsy Band), Adam (guitarist - Rum Runners), Noel Sagerman (jazz drummer), Dan Roorda (bassist) and special guest Ted Chubb on trumpet.
“We look forward to kicking off 2014 with our exciting arts gala,” says Executive Director Christine Goodman. “The 8th Annual Snow Ball is certain to be a glamorous evening to remember. Art House’s Snow Ball gives us an opportunity to celebrate the artistic spirit of Jersey City, to connect with our community of supporters, and to celebrate the 13th season of Art House Productions.”
Dress for the event is “black tie creative” and guests are encouraged to compete for the annual best-dressed guest or couple award by donning their favorite formal attire, including vintage, wedding and costume-wear.
An $80 advanced purchase ticket for the fundraiser includes food and drink from this year’s Platinum Sponsor, City Diner. Art House is delighted to welcome back major food sponsors GP’s Restaurant and Hamilton Inn. Mouth-watering desserts will be provided by Choc-O-Pain and Jaes Cakez. The Snow Ball’s open bar will offer wines from Port-o Lounge, beer from New Jersey Beer Company, and Chopin Vodka cocktails. The highly anticipated silent auction will feature unique art works and experience packages, including a champagne yacht cruise for two in the Long Island Sound. Tickets may be purchased in advance at www.arthouseproductions.org and $90 tickets will be available for purchase at the door on the night of the event.
Art House Productions is wheelchair accessible and located at 1McWilliams Place, 6th floor, on the southeast corner of Hamilton Park (near Erie and 8th Street).
Forbes publishing to relocate in Jersey City
Forbes Media announced that it will move to Jersey City after receiving a $27.1 million grant from the New Jersey Economic Development Agency program, “Grow New Jersey.”
Forbes will move out of its historic Greenwich Village facility to a building at 499 Washington Boulevard. The company estimates that this will bring about 350 jobs with a median wage of $80,000 to Jersey City.
“The Forbes announcement bringing 350 jobs to our city on the very same day we broke ground for the tallest residential tower in the history of New Jersey speaks to the great things happening in Jersey City and helps toward our goal to lead the state in private and construction job creation,” said Mayor Steven Fulop.
Forbes recently sold its building in Manhattan to New York University.
The new space in Jersey City will have 93,000 square feet in a 14 story building constructed in 2000.
The grant will span ten years and the state estimates the positive impact on the local economy at about $72 million over 20 years.
Forbes is the publisher of a magazine best known for its lists of the world’s richest people
The company made the announcement on Jan. 14, saying it would make the move by the end of the year. This makes the third prominent publishing company to locate in Hudson County along with John Wiley in Hoboken and Pearson Education (which has already announced plans to move to Hoboken from Upper Saddle River by the end of the year.)
The state grant is contingent on Forbes expanding its jobs to 350. Reports claim the company has about half that many at its current location in New York.
Christopher Columbus Drive named Super Bowl Drive for week
Mayor Steven M. Fulop said he would present to the city council a resolution to rename Christopher Columbus Drive –”Super Bowl Drive” – for the week leading up to Super Bowl XLVII.
The NFL is expected to have two representatives attending the Jan. 15 meeting when the City Council will vote on the resolution.
The renaming is part of the city’s efforts to welcome the two NFL Super Bowl teams – the AFC and the NFC champions – who will both be staying in Jersey City hotels. Banners will be displayed along Christopher Columbus Drive, the route the players will take from Newark-Liberty Airport to their hotels in Jersey City,
Additionally, the city, in collaboration with the Hudson County Chamber of Commerce, will host two welcoming events, which will be open to the public, at each of the hotels – the Hyatt and the Westin – upon the team’s arrivals. The dates and times of the events will be announced once the teams and their arrival have been determined. The events will feature activities for children, a band, giveaways, and hot chocolate, as the teams make their way to their hotels.
“We have been working closely with the NFL both regarding the preparations for the teams’ arrivals and logistics for the week of and game day,” said Mayor Fulop. “Having the teams in Jersey City is an honor and we are ready for the world to take notice of Jersey City during the nation’s largest annual sporting event. We are the most dynamic city in the State of New Jersey, with a remarkable skyline, diverse neighborhoods, world-class hotels, historic and cultural sites, and much more. We hope that everyone attending the Super Bowl experiences everything Jersey City has to offer.”
Charter school gala to honor Fulop
The Ethical Community Charter School (TECCS) of Jersey City announced the First Annual Gala Fundraiser which will honor Mayor Steven M. Fulop for his commitment to education and dedication to the youth of Jersey City. The gala will be held Saturday, Jan. 25 from 6 to 10 p.m. at Puccini’s Restaurant, 1064 West Side Ave. Tickets are priced at $85 per person and will include dinner, drinks and dancing. There will also be a Silent Auction, including a curated Fine Art exhibition. Event sponsors include KRE Group, The Shuster Group and Silverman.
Mayor Fulop, as an early supporter of The Ethical Community Charter School, recognized the importance of educational options for families and the value TECCS would bring to Jersey City.
“I have had the great opportunity to watch The Ethical Community Charter School develop from a concept into a thriving charter school within our community with a strong educational and ethical mission,” said Fulop. “The dedication of the parents, faculty, staff and students in making not only their school – but the entire Jersey City community – a better place is inspiring. Charter schools like TECCS are an important part of our public school network and I look forward to working with the school community as it continues to grow and flourish.”
At least $17,000.00 worth of goods and art work have been donated for the event’s Silent Auction portion of the evening, including luxury accommodations at the Hotel Fauchere, tickets to Broadway’s Bronx Bombers and park hopper passes to Disney World. The exhibition of contemporary artwork in the Silent Auction is a curated showcase of photographs, drawings, installations, etchings and portraits, representing nature’s unpredictability. Carly Berwick, former senior editor at ARTNews, curated pieces from East and West Coast artists, including Charles Gute, represented by Catherine Clark Gallery and local Jersey City artists Vikki Michalios and Kayt Hester.
Other artists include, Caitlin Atkinson, Brandon Ballengee, Derek Franklin, Rachel Stevens and Jon-Paul Villegas. Proceeds from the Gala will go toward the school’s plan to expand to 8th grade. A limited number of discount tickets are available for a limited time to TECCS families and friends.
For more information on how you can order tickets visit http://teccsgala.bpt.me or contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Tricky tray for Hudson County Animal League
The Hudson County Animal League will be hosting a “Winter Tricky Tray Matinee” on Saturday, Jan. 25 from 2 to 5:30 p.m. Doors open at 1:30 p.m. This will be held at the Heart of Jesus Polish National Catholic Church, 290 Avenue E, Bayonne. Tickets are $12.00, Admission includes a sheet of raffle tickets. Cake, coffee, soft drinks, snacks, will be served. They are also asking for a donation of a can of cat food and if possible a nonperishable item for a local food pantry. For tickets please call Cheryl Leszczynski @ (201) 332-7612.