Ballot positions selected for upcoming Jersey City Board of education election
Ballot positions were drawn Wednesday for the upcoming Board of Education election, scheduled to be held Tuesday, April 17.
In Jersey City, eight candidates are running for three vacant seats on the nine-member board. They are Vidya Gangadin, Jayson Burg, Amanda Khan, Marilyn Roman, Frank Lorenzo, Gerald Lyons, Sangeeta Ranade, and DeJon Morris.
The top three candidates to receive the most number of votes will each win seats on the board and will each serve a three-year term.
The ballot positions for the eight candidates are: Position No. 1, Gerald M. Lyons; Position No. 2, Vidya Gangadin; Position No. 3, De Jon Morris; Position No. 4, Marilyn Roman; Position No. 5, Sangeeta Ranade; Position No. 6, Amanda Khan; Position No. 7, Jayson H. Burg; and in Position No. 8, Frank Lorenzo.
In addition to selecting three board trustees, voters will also have the opportunity on April 17 to approve or reject the portion of the proposed 2012-2013 school budget that is to be paid for with taxpayer dollars.
The board will introduce its budget later this month, on March 26. The school budget for the 2011-2012 school year was $630 million and included a tax increase that added $32 to the annual tax bill for the average homeowner.
For more on the issues surrounding the election, see last week’s paper at hudsonreporter.com.
Hackensack Riverkeeper blasts environmental protection wavier rule
Jersey City recently requested permission from the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) to circumvent provisions in the federal Clean Water Act to prevent flooding in downtown homes. Specifically, when there is a danger that homes in the Van Vorst and Paulus Hook areas are in danger of flooding – something that has happened too often, according to residents – the city wants permission to pump untreated flood water directly into the Hudson River.
Last week. the administration of Gov. Chris Christie signed the “Waiver Rule,” a rule that would allow the DEP to grant the kind of relief that Jersey City is requesting. The rule allows the DEP to waive any environmental and/or public health laws, rules, regulations and safeguards and allows polluters and developers to evade them under the guise of creating more “flexibility” in the permitting process.
The Christie administration argues that giving the DEP “flexibility to modify compliance with rules in certain limited circumstances that do not compromise protections for the environment or public health.”
But Hackensack Riverkeeper Bill Sheehan vehemently disagreed last week in a statement issued after the Wavier Rule was signed.
“If this rule is allowed to stand, it will destroy environmental protection and severely compromise public health,” said Captain Bill Sheehan. “Under the guise of so-called ‘customer service,’ Christie’s DEP has instead created a recipe for environmental disaster.”
Added Riverkeeper Staff Attorney Christopher Len, “Despite clear statutory requirements, DEP believes it has the power to waive any rule protecting public safety or the environment. DEP appears to believe that its judgment is superior to that of the duly elected representatives in the New Jersey Legislature. This vast overreach is bad policy, exposes all of us to danger, and is ultimately bad for the economy. The only interests it benefits are those the governor's big-business allies. It is illegal, unconstitutional and it will not stand.”
So long, Pete, at least for now
On the evening of Tuesday, March 13, the downtown community will hold a closing party for Hudson Camera and store owner Pete Klapper. After 64 years in business on Newark Avenue, Hudson Camera will be closing this month to make way for a sports bar that will become the latest addition to the area’s Restaurant Row.
Neighbors, public officials, and Jersey City’s community at large will hold a little fete to say goodbye and thanks for the memories. The festivities begin at 6 p.m. at Hudson Camera, 130 Newark Avenue. Beverages and light fare will be served. Free.
(Oh, and if Jenni and Snooki are reading, Pete said he would love for you two to stop through, for just a few minutes!)
For a recent Jersey City Reporter cover story on the store’s history, see hudsonreporter.com.
Alley cats. They’re baaaaack
With the start of spring next week, residents may soon see more homeless cats roaming the street.
Each year, to help combat the program, Companion Animal Trust holds a series of workshops on how to “trap, neuter, and return” feral cats. The workshops are held monthly throughout the year.
The organization has announced its schedule of workshops for 2012. Workshops will be held on the following Saturdays: April 14, May 12, June 16, July 14, Aug. 11, Sept. 8, Oct. 13, and Nov. 10. Each workshop is held from noon until 3 p.m.
Participants will learn how to manage a cat colony, including how to establish good community relations; how to feed, build, and place shelters; how to arrange vet care; and how to safely trap and handle feral cats. All participants will become TNR certified and all Hudson County residents will gain access to low cost spay/neuter services and trap rentals.
Feral cats are free-roaming cats that are untamed and unsuitable for adoption. If left alone, they keep reproducing and can become a neighborhood nuisance, prompting well-meaning community members to call animal control to take care of them. However, this just means that the cats are removed and killed, prompting new cats to take over the territory.
In the process of Trap-Neuter-Return, the cat is humanely trapped, then transported to a vet where it is spayed or neutered, ear tipped and rabies vaccinated. Then the cat is released back to its original outdoor location and managed by a caregiver.
The Neighborhood Feral Cat Initiative was launched in February 2009 to raise public awareness about the community feral cat crisis. Since that time, over 270 Hudson County residents have become TNR certified and over 1,200 feral cats have been spayed and neutered through this program.
Reservations are required and there is a $10 fee due the day of the class. Call (201) 884-9649 to reserve a spot in an upcoming workshop. Once registered, participants will be given the location of the workshop.
A world of worms
Ever wanted to get up close and personal with… worms? Well, if so, Liberty State Park has a program just for you.
On Saturday, March 24 from 10 to 11:30 a.m., the curious are invited to explore the world of worms and vermiculture. Get up close and personal with the little wiggly things and learn how they turn our food into waste for compost. Participants will also find out how they can set up their own worm bins at home.
The program is free, but registration is suggested. To register, call the Liberty State Park Nature Interpretive Center at (201) 915-3409 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.