No. 4, No. 99S bus routes to continue
The Jersey City Council informed concerned residents Wednesday night that Montgomery Bus Lines will take over the No. 4 bus route beginning Dec. 1. Red and Tan Lines, which currently operates the No. 4 bus from Newport Centre Mall to Merritt Street, recently announced plans to discontinue this route, effective Nov. 6.
“The only thing that still needs to be resolved now is what to do with that gap between Nov. 6 and Dec. 1,” At-large City Councilwoman Kalimah Ahmad told residents at Wednesday’s Jersey City Council meeting. Ahmad added that members of Mayor Jerramiah T. Healy’s administration and a few members of the council are meeting with the bus companies to see if some type of interim service can run between Nov. 6 and Dec. 1.
Red and Tan Lines announced two weeks ago that it would discontinue both the No. 4 and No. 99S routes next month, a move that had many Jersey City and Bayonne residents scrambling to find other ways to get to work and school.
The 99S bus runs from the Port Authority Bus Terminal in New York, through Jersey City to West Third Street in Bayonne. The matter of that bus seems to have been resolved. On Friday, Healy’s office announced that NJ Transit has agreed to contract with Academy Bus Lines to continue the 99S route during the morning and evening rush hours. These hours include 5 to 10 a.m. and 3 to 10 p.m. The bus will be re-numbered and will become the 119 bus. During off-peak hours NJ Transit’s No. 88 Bus will pick up a portion of the former 99S route. This change will start on Nov. 6.
Jersey City Medical Center wants to buy museum building
Jersey City Medical Center confirmed Friday that they have expressed an interest in purchasing the building that houses the Jersey City Museum. Under a tentative deal with the city, the hospital would use part of the building for administrative offices and allow the museum to use the rest of the space for its collection and programs. The city wouldn’t pay any rent for the museum for two years.
The museum closed in December due to a lack of funding for the facility. Earlier this year it looked as if United Way of Hudson County would buy the building, then lease a portion of it back to the museum. That deal, however, fell through.
On Friday, Mark Rabson, a hospital spokesman, noted that such cultural offerings are important in the growing downtown neighborhood in Jersey City. He noted that LibertyHealth’s own president, Joe Scott, lives downtown. LibertyHealth owns JCMC.
Wall Street protesters continue weeklong demonstration at Journal Square
Since Oct. 11 several anti-Wall Street demonstrators have staged an ongoing protest at Journal Square. The protest, officially dubbed Occupy Journal Square, began days after 50 to 100 protestors demonstrated outside the Goldman Sachs Tower at Exchange Place.
Demonstrators moved their anti-Wall Street action to Journal Square after the Jersey City Police Department hampered efforts to stage an ongoing protest at Exchange Place and Grove Plaza.
Journal Square was selected as the next best option, given its high visibility as a transit hub. The demonstration is one of several offshoot protests that have popped up across the country in support of Occupy Wall Street, which began last month in lower Manhattan’s Zuccotti Park.
Since September, the protesters have developed a list of demands that seek to restructure corporate taxation policies and put an end to corporate influence in politics. Detractors have called the protesters’ demands “unfocused.”
But in recent weeks, the ongoing, 24-hour protests in New York have only grown and spawned satellite demonstrations in Washington, D.C., Boston, Los Angeles, Chicago, Philadelphia, and Jersey City.
The Journal Square demonstrators, some of whom have been staying in the Square overnight, have been protesting in shifts to accommodate protestors’ school and work schedules. Thus, it is difficult to gauge how many people have taken part in the weeklong protest.
Goya on track to get state – and local – tax credits for new JC facility
The New Jersey Economic Development Authority (EDA) unanimously approved last week an $81.9 million tax credit for Secaucus-based Goya Foods, Inc. to build a 577,000 square foot facility in Jersey City.
The EDA approved the tax credit under the state’s Urban Transit Hub Tax Credit program. The program gives tax credits to certain companies that employ at least 250 full-time workers and build or rent office space in or near nine designated urban transit communities. Jersey City is among the state’s designated urban transit hubs. Some public officials have argued the urban hub tax credit should only be used to lure out-of-state companies to relocate to New Jersey, and should not be used to keep companies that are already here, since it may lure a company from one Jersey town to the other.
The new facility in Jersey City will serve as Goya’s new headquarters and distribution center. The company’s current building in Secaucus will be converted to a manufacturing center. The new Jersey City headquarters is expected to house 491 employees, including 316 workers who would move from the company’s Secaucus office to Jersey City.
In addition to the state tax credit, the Jersey City Tax Abatement Committee was scheduled to consider on Fri., Oct. 14 an application from Goya. According to an agenda sent to local media, Goya is seeking a 20-year tax abatement for the new facility, which will be built at 360 Secaucus Road, according to a document from Jersey City. (Previous media reports have listed the address as 350 County Road.)
Goya has claimed that it is still weighing a move to New York.
Earlier this year the EDA approved a $102.4 million urban hub tax credit to keep Panasonic in New Jersey. Although Panasonic said it considered a move outside the Garden State, the company ultimately accepted the urban hub tax incentive and decided to move its U.S. headquarters from Secaucus to Newark.
City wants residents to help with ‘Big Dig’ planting flowers
Jersey City is looking for residents to participate in a citywide community beautification project known as the Big Dig. On Saturday, Oct. 22, resident volunteers and workers from Parks and Forestry will plant 17,000 daffodils and tulips in 80 locations throughout the city. If successful, dozens of city parks, select open spaces, schools, libraries, historic cemeteries, and gateways to the city will be blooming in yellows, oranges and reds for April and May 2012.
Jersey City’s Big Dig is part of the national Making A Difference Day.
Donations are being raised from individuals and corporations who are committed to the beautification of their hometown and who see this as an investment that will keep on giving year after year.
“For the past few years, my office has been involved in recognizing Make A Difference Day with events in Jersey City,” said Mayor Jerramiah Healy. “However, this year is different as this is the first time we have had one, overarching event for the entire city. We thank the Jersey City Parks Coalition for this concept.”
Begun in 1990 as a national day dedicated to helping others, Make A Difference Day is an annual event sponsored by USA Weekend Magazine on the fourth Saturday of every October. Volunteers can join a group project or come up with their own project, like spending the day at a soup kitchen or helping an elderly neighbor around the house. Those who can’t participate on Saturday for religious reasons can do their community service on Sunday.
The Big Dig, which will be cosponsored by the Jersey City Parks Coalition, is the organization’s first citywide event. Since 2004, the coalition has planted fall bulbs in Pershing Field, Van Vorst Park, Riverview-Fisk Park, Sgt. Anthony Park, Ercel Webb Park, Washington Park, and Lincoln Park.
The effort is also being cosponsored by the Jersey City Division of Cultural Affairs.
For more information, visit the Jersey City Parks Coalition website at www.jcparks.org. To make a donation or to volunteer with the Big Dig, call Laura Skolar at (201) 259-1800 or Charlene Burke at (201) 344-2060.
Everyone is encouraged to attend and make a difference in the community.
Comedy Fundraiser for Habitat for Humanity
Comedians Dan St. Germain, Liam McEneaney, Calise Hawkins, and Rich Kiamco are teaming up for a comedy fundraiser to benefit Habitat for Humanity of Hudson County on Thursday, Oct.20 from 8 to 11 p.m. The fundraiser will take place at Michael Anthony’s Restaurant at 502 Washington Blvd. in Jersey City. Tickets are $20, with a cash bar. All tax deductible proceeds will benefit Habitat for Humanity of Hudson County. For more information, call (800) 985-8418. Tickets can be purchased online at Charity Happenings. To purchase tickets, visit http://habitatcomedyfundraiser.charityhappenings.org.
NAMI Hudson County will hold educational courses
The National Alliance on Mental Illness of Hudson County is conducting an educational course for parents, caregivers, and adolescents living with mental illness. The topics will include ADHD, bipolar disorder, conduct disorder, major depression, and more. It will also focus on communication skills, problem solving, crisis preparation, and the biology of mental illness.
The free six-week course will commence Saturday, Nov. 5 at the Family Support Office in Jersey City. Classes will run from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., and babysitting will be provided.
To register, contact Martha Silva at (201) 861-0614, or Carol Williamson at the FSO office at (201) 915-5140 ext. 22. Interested parties can also register by sending an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
NAMI also holds separate monthly support meetings in Spanish and English. Contact Martha Silva (above) for more information.
Bird walk in Liberty State Park
The Liberty State Park Interpretive Program will host a bird walk on Sat., Oct. 22 from 10 a.m. until noon. Participants can expect a leisurely stroll along the Hudson River walkway in search of winter visitors to Liberty State Park. Species that inhabit the area at this time of year include ruddy ducks, mergansers, grebes, and buffleheads. Guests are encouraged to dress warmly and to bring binoculars, if they own a pair. The park can provide a limited number of binoculars to guests who do not own any.
Participation on the walk is free, but registration is required. To register for the walk, call the park’s Nature Interpretive Center at (201) 915-3409 or send an email to email@example.com.
Party in Pink
On Sunday, Oct 16 from 1 to 3 p.m. there will be a Zumba fitness masterclass at the Gundy Pier, at 1 Montgomery St. Instructors Gino and Tina Kang will be joined by Tracy Salvensen, Kaitlyn Golden, Alisha Ann, and other for what’s being called the first annual Party in Pink on the Pier. Participants are asked to donate $20 for the class. Proceeds will be donated to the Susan G. Komen for the Cure in honor of breast cancer awareness month.
Consortium to hold breast cancer focus group
Hudson Perinatal Consortium & Susan G. Komen for the Cure, North Jersey Affiliate will host a Hudson County Breast Health Focus Group at Our Lady of Sorrows Church, 95 Clerk St., Jersey City. Wednesday, Oct. 26 from 2:15 p.m. to 3:15 p.m. Help them create a motivational breast cancer screening message for African American women. Come on time and stay for entire session and receive a $25 Visa gift card. Limited availability and registration is required. Call Wanda Butler by October 21 – 201-876-8900 x225.