Support local artists: Studio tours take place next weekend in Hoboken
Despite the storm, Hoboken’s artists – and art lovers – will prevail.
Next weekend, Nov. 17 and 18, Hoboken will hold its annual art studio tours. During the free event, visitors can stop into homes, businesses, lofts, and restaurants around the city to enjoy visual art, music, dance, and all other artforms, sometimes right in the spot where the art is made.
The event is co-sponsored by Mayor Dawn Zimmer, the city of Hoboken, the Monroe Center for the Arts, and the Hoboken Reporter.
Hotspots will include Hoboken City Hall, the Barsky Gallery at 49 Harrison St., the Monroe Center for the Arts at 720 Monroe St., and Mackey Blue and the gallery at 1200 Washington St., D’s Soulful Café at 918 Willow, the Historical Museum at 1301 Hudson, and Tresorie Custom Framing at 1204 Washington St. Over 100 artists will participate.
A map will be available on the City Hall website, hobokennj.org, on Thursday, Nov. 15. Also check the site for transportation information and updates.
You can also call 201-420-2207 or 239-6639 for information. Also, watch hudsonreporter.com and next weekend’s paper for more coverage.
Pregnant woman and pets rescued from Weehawken floodwaters
According to a police report, on Monday, Oct. 29, the Weehawken Police Department asked for the help of any agency that could spare manpower to respond to a flood zone near The Lincoln Tunnel to rescue police officers and civilians.
Investigators Joseph Torello, Shaundell Barker, Laura Sorto and Sgt. Leonardo Ramirez responded to the call. Investigators Torello and Barker got into water rescue suits and joined two North Hudson firefighters in a small rescue boat within the flooded area. Their first rescue involved a 32-week pregnant woman who was trapped in her home, which contained over 6 feet of water and heavy debris.
The woman was saved along with her two small animals.
A total of 12 people were saved. Deputy Chief Frank Montagne from the North Hudson Regional Fire and Rescue thanked Guttenberg police for their assistance with the mission.
“We went to Weehawken not knowing what to expect,” said Sergeant Ramirez. “At the end, everything worked out well. It was a joint effort...we saved lives, and that was the most important thing.”
Ramirez recalled seeing trapped residents using flashlights to alert them that they needed to be rescued. – Vanessa Cruz
Union City expected to approve $104.8M budget
The Union City Board of Commissioners planned to take a final vote Friday night, Nov. 9, on the city’s budget for the 2013 fiscal year. The budget, which was introduced at a Commissioners Meeting on Oct. 11, is approximately $104.8 million, a decrease of about $400,000 from the 2012 budget.
The budget also includes an increase in tax revenue from the town’s property owners, from $60.7 million to $63.7 million, although Mayor Brian Stack said that this would not mean an increase in the tax rate.
“[Millions in revenue] is coming from some surpluses, some other revenues, and doesn’t mean an increase in taxes,” Stack said. “I’d love to be able to decrease taxes, right now I can’t, but the commissioners and myself doing our best to keep them stable.”
Additionally, about $2.8 million was added to the budget via a grant awarded to the city from the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. According to Stack, it would be used primarily for road upkeep and infrastructure maintenance, and was given to the city due to traffic that tends to clog the city’s streets when construction or congestion takes place on Route 495, which runs through the town and is administered by the Port Authority.
Among the larger expenditures, employee health insurance will rise from $15.2 million in 2012 to $16.7 million next year. Police Department salaries will rise from $17.1 million to approximately $18 million.
Keeping a city clean also doesn’t come cheap. Street cleaning and garbage pickup and recycling are also costly, totaling more than $6 million together.
The final vote was not available as of press time on Friday. – Dean DeChairo
Kids from around country send their Halloween candy to Hoboken kids; parade this Monday
The letters have been coming in. Coming from Highland Park, Illinois. Coming from Milton, Massachusetts, and an unspecified town in Rhode Island. Kids (and some adults) from all over the country are writing letters to Hoboken Mayor Zimmer and including some of their stash of Halloween candy, as Hoboken kids didn’t get to go trick-or-treating this Oct. 31 due to Hurricane Sandy’s arrival on Monday, Oct. 29.
Most of Hoboken only got power back this past weekend. While Gov. Chris Christie moved Halloween in New Jersey to this past Monday, Hoboken residents were still pulling soaked furniture out of their basements, and school only resumed Thursday.
Mary Peyton and Madison Peyton from Illinois wrote: “Dear Mayor Zimmer, We hope you can give some of our candy to the kids of your town. We know they could not go trick or treating.”
Dana Bell of Illinois wrote, “Dear mayor of Hoboken, I’m sorry that your town has been destroyed. Here is Halloween candy for the kids that did not get to have Halloween.”
The city has rescheduled its longstanding Ragamuffin Hallloween Parade for this Monday at 3:45 p.m. on Washington Street. There may be some trick-or-treating to go with it, particularly at the stores of Washington Street.
Free food, blankets to be distributed for Sandy victims
On Sunday, Nov. 11 at 3 p.m., the FYM Foundation Emergency Aid to Humanity will give away nonperishable emergency food items and blankets to the first 1,000 people who show up at 280 Avenue E, at the corner of 23rd Street, in Bayonne.
Help for businesses hit by storm
The state website has released some information and resources that might be useful for commercial businesses that were affected by Hurricane Sandy. The site has added a page that has such resources as temporary hubs for telephones, internet services, business recovery checklists, disaster assistance, and more. To connect to the site, visit http://www.nj.gov/njbusiness/.
Also, the Meadowlands Regional Chamber and the Meadowlands Liberty CVB on Nov. 5 opened a hotline for Greater Meadowlands area businesses affected by the recent hurricane. Businesses can call (201) 528-2951 or email MRCbusinesshotline@meadowlands.org to connect with chamber members and government resources who can help them get back to business as usual as soon as possible. It will be staffed Mon day to Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., and a recorded message will be monitored regularly during non-business hours.
Jersey City issuing cabbie fines after reports of gouging
Jersey City’s taxi monitor is issuing fines to cabbies after reports and evidence of price gouging.
Some cab drivers, particularly ones who service the taxi stand at Journal Square, have been caught not using their meters and instead trying to set their own fares – a practice that is illegal, according to officials with the Department of Housing, Economic Development, and Commerce.
At press time, the PATH system was running limited service between Journal Square and 33 Street only. NJ Transit is running its Hudson-Bergen Light Rail, rail, and buses, but with modified service.
Some cab drivers seem prepared to take advantage of the situation.
A taxi monitor assigned to the Journal Square taxi stand said recently, “I’m here telling them they must use their meters. If they don’t, it’s a $1,200 fine. Problem is, whenever I’m not standing here, a lot of them won’t turn the meters on.”
He said he told one driver he had to use his meter but then caught that same driver not using his meter just 10 minutes later. Some drivers, he said, have been told by their cab owners not to use their meters and to charge customers flat fees for trips.
Some flat fees can be almost double the price of a metered trip.
New Jersey is asking residents who suspect price gouging to report it to the state Division of Consumer Affairs at (800) 242-5846. The Jersey City Department of Housing, Economic Development, and Commerce can be reached at (201) 200-0677. – E. Assata Wright
Liberty Science Center reopens
Liberty Science Center is in full operation, offering films, special programs, and exhibitions for adults and children ages three and older. Though normally closed on Mondays throughout the fall and winter months, the facility will be open on Monday, Nov. 12, which is Veterans Day.
For a real treat, visitors can enjoy the “Imagine Science Film Festival” on Sunday, Nov. 11. Liberty Science Center is the first and only New Jersey venue to offer selections from this fifth annual festival of films selected by scientists. Film festival tickets are $8 for adults and $6 for children ages 2 to 12 for each screening.
On the exhibit floors at Liberty Science Center, special highlights this weekend include: the acclaimed exhibition, “Animation” where families can hover in a slow-mo video, create their own cartoons, and tons more; the new “daVinci Robotic Surgery” exhibit that lets kids try authentic physician-training software; and “Got Power,” which allows kids to race solar-powered slot cars on a huge track.
Guests can also relax in the nation’s largest IMAX Dome Theater with a screen that encompasses audience members in an 88-foot spherical dome. Now showing are “Flight of the Butterflies,” “To the Arctic,” and “Journey Into Amazing Caves.” General admission to Liberty Science Center is $16.75 for adults and $12.50 for children ages 2 to 12. For more information, call (201) 252-1310 or visit http://www.LSC.org. – E. Assata Wright
Secaucus gets new U.S. Representative with Pascrell win in ninth district
Secaucus welcomed a new congressional leader after U.S. Rep. Bill Pascrell (D-Paterson) beat Republican Rabbi Shmuley Boteach of Englewood for the 9th district Tuesday night. Pascrell will begin his ninth congressional term and replaces U.S. Rep Steven Rothman (D-Englewood), who has served Secaucus the past sixteen years. Last year redistricting combined portions of Congressional Districts 5, 8, and 9 into two districts and created a new 9th that included Secaucus and Kearny as the only two Hudson County municipalities alongside Bergen and Passaic municipalities.
The redistricting originally pitted Rothman, who lived in Fair Lawn, against Republican Rep. Scott Garrett (R-Wantage) in the 5th District. But Rothman moved to Englewood, choosing to run in the 9th against fellow Democrat Pascrell. Pascrell emerged victorious in the primary.
Pascrell, 75, carried his message of being a “fighter” throughout his campaign and soundly defeated Boteach in Secaucus with 68 percent of votes as of the last count on Tuesday, which did not include provisional or absentee ballots. Boteach, 45, an American Orthodox rabbi, is also a television host and author of books like “Kosher Sex: A Recipe for Passion.” He promoted tax and health reform among his issues during his campaign.
Secaucus also helped re-elect President Barack Obama and Senator Robert Menendez, who both won the majority of local votes. – Adriana Rambay Fernandez
Secaucus taking in donations, hosting food and blood drives
The municipality of Secaucus is accepting donations of blankets, clothes, non-perishables, baby formula and diapers, bleach, mops, and trash bags at the Secaucus Public Library, the Recreation Center, and 101 Centre Ave. An emergency blood drive sponsored by the Action Sports Association will take place at the Secaucus Town Library Nov. 9 from 2:30 to 8 p.m. For more information, call (201) 251-3703.
Bayonne Medical Center in Bayonne and Christ Hospital in Jersey City are back on full power after several days running on generator power. Both hospitals have resumed normal emergency and other services, although hospital officials said that patients who have scheduled elective surgery should check with the hospital before assuming that surgery will take place, said Allyson Miller, spokesperson for the hospital. BMC also may not resume outpatient services right away so patients should also call the hospital to find out the latest information.
Hoboken University Medical Center is still dealing with the aftermath of flooding, but was fully functional by this past Friday, they said.
For emergency situations, residents should call 9-1-1, but for general questions, they should call the general number to each hospital: Bayonne Medical Center at (201) 858-5000; Hoboken University Hospital at (201) 418-1000; or Christ Hospital at (201) 795-8200.
How will schools, day cares recoup all those days off?
Hurricane Sandy forced many local schools and day cares to close, forcing parents to scramble for alternative child care.
Kids in the regular public schools will have to make up many of the days. In New Jersey, public schools must be open for at least 180 days each year. Often, schools budget for two or three snow days. Days beyond that are often made up at the end of the year.
Recently, Gov. Chris Christie said he would not waive the 180-day requirement this year. The state’s teachers’ union, which normally holds a two-day convention in late November, said they would cancel it this year so that students could attend two more days of school.
The Hoboken Charter School students have even more to deal with. They had already missed more than a week of school when Hurricane Sandy hit the area.
In September, the public school suffered a fire at its building at 713 Washington St. on the second day of school. The fire displaced the K-8 program. The building has still not been repaired. More than a week after the fire, the school moved to interim space at St. Anne’s School in Jersey City Heights.
But the move, in some ways, helped them deal better with the hurricane. Unlike in flood-prone Hoboken, the building up in the Heights did not fare as poorly.
Down in Hoboken, most public school students missed eight days of school. But Hoboken Charter resumed classes this past Monday.
Still, Hoboken Charter has many days to make up. The school also has a 9-12 program in a building in Hoboken, and that program must make up the days they missed because of the hurricane.
According to charter school Principal Deidre Grode, efforts are being made to eliminate some of the scheduled breaks in the middle of the year, rather than tacking the extra days on to the end.
“We have heard talks of schools possibly becoming exempt from the 180-day requirement,” Grode said, “but our kids deserve 180 days.” – Amanda Palasciano
Hoboken Hoedown postponed
The Hoboken Hoedown, which was originally scheduled for Saturday, Nov 10 by the Hoboken Historical Museum will be postponed due to Hurricane Sandy. The board of directors regretfully will push back the date, most likely to next spring. For more information visit www.hobokenmuseum.org.
Giving back to the community
In North Bergen, Robert Fulton School’s Language Arts teacher, Theresa Ianantuano, will debut her first children’s book, “Who Took My Lunch?” at the North Bergen Public Library on Tuesday, Nov. 13 at 6:30 p.m.
“I’ve decided to donate a portion of my book sales on the night of my reading to the Township of North Bergen Hurricane Sandy Relief Effort,” said Ianantuano. “I will be donating $5 from each book sold November 13th… the money can be used to buy supplies, blankets, and warm clothing for North Bergen families that were affected by Hurricane Sandy.”
This is the first time such a system is being instituted in the New York metropolitan area. Developed in 2006 by InQuicker.com, a Nashville, Tennessee-based company, the system has been used by 165 healthcare facilities in 22 states, they said.
“There is a shortage of primary care physicians in this area, and as such, the hard working providers in ERs and physician offices aren’t able to keep up with the demand for services, which can lead to delays in treatment, lengthy wait times for appointments and, ultimately, unhappy patients,” said Kirat Kharode, the hospital’s vice president of operations. “With this system, which is similar to using OpenTable to make a restaurant reservation, we will be holding a place for patients in line without them having to actually be there. We’re putting our patients first.”
To make an appointment, patients can go to the hospital website, www.libertyhcs.org or www.Ichoosejcmc.com.
Chamber concert in Union City on Sunday
Performing works by Bach, Brahms and the American composer Samuel Barber, the Union City Chamber Music Players will hold a concert at St. John’s Church, 1516 Palisade Ave. on Sunday, Nov. 11, 3 p.m.
Led by Juilliard and Yale trained violinist and violist Peter Borten and his opera singer wife, Bernadette LaFond, the Union City Chamber Players are currently in their second year of a residency at St. John’s, where they performed a concert of Schubert’s compositions in late September.
For more information on the group and the upcoming concert, visit their Facebook page at www.facebook.com/UnionCityChamberPlayers, and look for a future story in the Union City Reporter.
The event will take place at the Historic Jersey City & Harsimus Cemetery Sunday, Nov. 11 at 1 p.m.
North Bergen pre-school, damaged by fire, to reopen soon
Some public school students in North Bergen attend pre-K classes in a group of trailers within James J. Braddock Park. However, on Monday, Oct. 29, trailers caught on fire when a tree fell on live wires, causing them to spark. The fire damaged two trailers. One trailer served as offices, while the second was a classroom.
A passerby called police.
“When the wire snapped…it ignited a fire in the first trailer which was the office for the Pre-K,” said Deputy Police Chief Robert Dowd. “Eventually the roof for the second trailer caught fire.”
According to Commissioner Hugo Cabrera, the trailers were rented and will be replaced.
Public school reopened in North Bergen on Monday, Nov. 5, except for the pre-school. Officials could not give a date for when it would restart, but said that PSEG was working on the power for the rest of the trailers, and that pre-school will likely resume this coming week.
Former Police Chief William Galvin, Deputy Robert Dowd, Commissioner Hugo Cabrera, Township Administrator Chris Pianese, and Mayor Nicholas Sacco went around North Bergen after the storm to access areas that needed repairs and rebuilding. —Vanessa Cruz