Moody’s raises city’s bond rating
The financial investor service firm Moody’s has upgraded Jersey City’s municipal bond rating, citing “the city’s improved financial position with structurally balanced operations, dramatically increased wealth levels and strong prospects for continued tax base growth” among the reasons for the upgrade.
According to the decision released last week by Moody’s, the service has assigned an A2 underlying rating, with a positive outlook, and an A2 enhanced rating, with a stable outlook, to Jersey City’s $26.8 million Qualified General Improvement Bonds, Series 2012, and $9.3 million General Obligation Refunding Bonds. Moody’s also affirmed Jersey City’s A2 underlying general obligation bond rating and revised the outlook to positive from negative on $846.8 million of city and city-guaranteed long-term general obligation bonds.
“We are pleased that during this time of worldwide economic malaise, that our measures of fiscal restraint, downsizing, and prospective budgetary planning has paid off,” Mayor Jerramiah Healy said after the decision was announced. “As we look to the future, we will continue to seek positive changes within the city’s financial structure such as the continued streamlining services where possible, and we will continue to work hard to maintain this positive rating and keep Jersey City moving on the right track.”
Public meeting for chromium cleanup at Metropolis Towers
On Tuesday, July 17 at 6:30 p.m., the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection and PPG Industries will hold a meeting at City Hall to discuss the planned chromium contamination cleanup at Metropolis Towers. Land remediation at the two-building downtown development is scheduled to begin sometime this fall.
At the July 17 meeting residents can learn more information about the contamination and planned clean up from NJDEP staff, representatives from PPG, and the court-appointed site monitor who will oversee the process.
Councilman to participate in Ironman event to raise money for vets and their families
On August 11 Ward E City Councilman and U.S. Marine veteran Steven Fulop will participate in the inaugural New York-New Jersey Ironman Competition to raise money for ReserveAid. The Ironman is a one-day race that starts with a 2.4 mile swim in the Hudson, followed by a 112 mile bike ride, followed by a full 26.2 mile marathon.
ReserveAid is a nonprofit organization that makes need-based grants to military families with a Reservist or National Guard member on full-time deployment or recently returned from deployment to a combat zone.
Fulop, who served in Iraq, is asking members of the community to support ReserveAid by sponsoring him in the Ironman race. To sponsor Fulop, visit http://reserveaid.org/get-involved/ironman-u-s-championship/ and click “Team ReserveAid” in the dropdown. Next, type in “Steven Fulop.” Contributions are tax deductible.
To learn more about ReserveAid, visit www.reserveaid.org.
Sustainable JC’s Green Drinks + Art returns this week
Sustainable Jersey City will host its next Green Drinks + Art patio party on Thursday, July 19 at 6 p.m. The event will take place at the Hudson County Community College Culinary Center at 161 Newkirk St.
According to Sustainable JC organizers, the group launched Green Drinks + Art last month to bring “sustainably minded” folks together during their down time to enjoy music, food, and art on a monthly basis. The hope is for these events to bring together people who are interested in sustainable practices so they can network, share information, and learn about various local initiatives and green-oriented businesses. Sustainable JC also tries to incorporate a commitment to the arts community.
Green Drinks events will continue through the end of the year. For more information on Green Drinks + Art or sustainable JC, visit www.SustainableJC.org.
Vandals trash JC playgrounds
A playground at Dr. Leonard J. Gordon Park near Manhattan Avenue and Kennedy Boulevard suffered nearly $200,000 damage as a result of vandals setting the equipment on fire, said Hudson County Executive Chief of Staff Bill Gaughan, who also serves as a councilman in Jersey City.
“We’ve had a rash of vandalism incidents on playgrounds throughout the city, some in city parks, some in county parks,” Gaughan said. “While the police have made arrests in some cases, most of the time, these things are being done by juveniles and we’re trying to find a way to make these things stop.”
Recently, he said the playground in Lincoln Park near Casino in the Park in Jersey City was torched, causing significant damage to the equipment, and there was damage done to the playground at Riverview/Fisk Park near Palisades Avenue in Jersey City.
The county is currently installing surveillance cameras in county parks – Lincoln Park in Jersey City and Stephen Gregg Park in Bayonne currently have them – but many city parks must rely on police patrols.
Gaughan asked for the public to report all suspicious activity near public playgrounds.
Community ‘Shabbat in the park’ with Temple Beth-El
People of all backgrounds and faiths are invited to celebrate Shabbat in the Park with Jersey City’s Temple Beth-El on Friday, July 20 at 6:30 p.m. in Hamilton Square Park. Shabbat is the Jewish celebration of the Sabbath, held each Friday evening.
The event will be led by Rabbi Debra Hachen. There will be music for all ages provided by award-winning musician Mama Doni. Following the interactive singing and story experience, all are invited to bring their own picnic and relax together in the park. For more information, contact Temple Beth-El at (201) 333-4229 or visit www.betheljc.org.
Jersey Medical Center to host “Meet the doulas” night
Interested in learning more about the role of the doula as a birth companion?
Expectant mothers and couples are invited to attend a “Meet the Doulas Night” at Jersey City Medical Center on Tuesday, July 17 at 6:30 p.m. in the cafeteria at 355 Grand Street.
The event will include speakers; a panel of experts who will provide answers to questions; demonstrations; an educational packet with information on labor, birth and breastfeeding; and various giveaways.
Nutritious snacks and refreshments will be served.
The event will be moderated by Rebeca Four, a doula and program director with Leche de Mama, a non-profit organization dedicated to offering evidence-based preventive health and lifestyle education and practices that reduce existing barriers and risk factors and result in improved health outcomes and wellness for mothers and their babies.
The featured speaker is Michelle Goitia, a birth doula and certified yoga instructor. Goitia is one of the few certified yoga instructors in Hudson County with experience in both prenatal and postpartum yoga practice. This is considered essential in helping women prepare for labor and birth and to recuperate during the postpartum period.
Doulas perform massage, provide comfort measures, and help mothers with their birthing and prenatal experiences. There is no cost to attend the event.
July adoption campaign underway at Liberty Humane Society
In honor of Independence Day, the Liberty Humane Society is hosting a “Made in America” adoption promotion through Wednesday, July 18. During the promotion Liberty Humane will offer a 50 percent discount on adoption fees for animals that have been in the shelter for three months or longer. The summer months can be particularly hard on shelters as it is a time when adoptions are slow. However, during the summer months, shelters experience an increase in strays and the number of pet surrenders. Liberty Humane Hopes that the “Made in America” adoption promotion will entice potential pet parents to visit and maybe find their new feline or canine companion.
The Liberty Humane Society is located at 235 Jersey City Blvd. For more information, call (201) 547-4147, ext. 1005.
All of Liberty Humane’s adoptable animals come spayed/neutered, vaccinated, and micro-chipped. In addition, adoptive pet parents receive 30-days free pet insurance.
Fussy Friends to host Pet Appreciation Day
Join other local pet parents on Sunday, July 22 at Fussy Friends to celebrate Pet Appreciation Day. The even will be held from 3 to 8 p.m. at 148 Newark Ave. There will be snacks (but, sadly, only for dogs) and refreshments for humans, live “rock and rover” music, and an opportunity to interact with other animal lovers in the downtown community. At 6 p.m. there will be a talk given by guest speaker Dr. Gerald Buchoff, who will discuss his approach to holistic pet care. Throughout the event there will also be free photo shoots for owners and their pet friends, and the best “tail wagger” will win a special prize! For more information, call (201) 333-6400.
HCCD named new executive director of Center for Business & Industry
Ana Chapman recently assumed responsibility for the Hudson County Community College Center for Business & Industry (CBI). She succeeds Nicholas Micucci, who retired last month.
“We are very pleased to welcome Ms. Chapman to the College and to CBI as Executive Director. She brings more than 15 years experience in program and project management as well as training, staff development and adult education with her to this position, all of which will be very beneficial to our business community and to the College,” said HCCC President Dr. Glen Gabert.
Currently working on her Ph.D. in the use of creativity in staff and organizational development, Chapman holds a Master of Arts degree from New York University and a Bachelor of Arts degree from New School University.
Prior to coming to HCCC, Chapman was Project Director at City University of New York School of Professional Studies.
HCCC Vice President for Academic Affairs Dr. Eric Friedman said that Chapman has already been out in the community meeting with business leaders and becoming acquainted with their needs.
Additionally, Chapman and her team are planning for a Job Fair for current CBI program participants enrolled in REA (Re-employment Act Orientation). Participants are Hudson County residents who are currently unemployed. More than 20 employers are expected to attend the fair at the Culinary Arts Institute/Conference Center on Wednesday, Oct. 17.