JERSEY CITY BRIEFS
May 05, 2013 | 2841 views | 0 0 comments | 8 8 recommendations | email to a friend | print
HOT FOR SOME CHILI? – Hey, chili fans, it’s baaaaaaaaaack! Yes, with Cinco de Mayo comes the annual Fourth Street Arts Chili Cook Off. The fourth annual food fest/competition takes place from noon to 4 p.m. in Grove Plaza. Five bucks gets you a big sampling of chili from each of the 20-plus chefs participating in this year’s competition.
HOT FOR SOME CHILI? – Hey, chili fans, it’s baaaaaaaaaack! Yes, with Cinco de Mayo comes the annual Fourth Street Arts Chili Cook Off. The fourth annual food fest/competition takes place from noon to 4 p.m. in Grove Plaza. Five bucks gets you a big sampling of chili from each of the 20-plus chefs participating in this year’s competition.
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JCPD seeks help in downtown hit and run

The Jersey City Police Department (JCPD) is seeking help in finding the driver of a silver Jeep Cherokee who allegedly hit a man at Monmouth Avenue and Second Street at around 3:37 a.m. on the morning of Saturday, April 27. Witnesses were able to get a partial license plate number: C37.

According to witnesses, the male victim, whose family has asked that he and his medical condition not be disclosed, was struck and pinned up against another car. The driver allegedly got out of his car for a moment, but then returned to his vehicle and sped away, according to witnesses.

Anyone with information is asked to call the JCPD at (201) 547-5477.

The victim remains hospitalized.

NJCU to hold 31st annual Media Arts Dept. Showcase at Loew’s

On Thursday, May 16, the Landmark Loew’s Jersey Theatre will host the 31st annual New Jersey City University Media Arts Department student showcase of film, video, and digital media. The showcase will begin at 7 p.m. The Landmark Loew’s Jersey Theatre is located at 54 Journal Square. There is a suggested donation of $3, which will benefit the Loew’s.

Update in April vehicular death case

Following published reports on www.HudsonReporter.com and in the Jersey City Reporter, witnesses who said they were not initially interviewed by the Jersey City Police Department (JCPD) regarding the April 19 vehicular death of Stephen Clifford, said last week that they were finally contacted by JCDP detectives.

Clifford was struck and killed on Friday, April 19 at around 10 p.m. as he was crossing Fairmount Avenue near Kennedy Boulevard.

Joe Harkins – who said he heard Clifford, 24, when he was struck and killed – was one of the first people to call 911 after the incident. However, for several days following the incident Harkins said no one from the police department contacted him about what he heard and saw, which Harkins found suspicious. Despite several people who were at the scene at the time of the accident, only one witness was initially interviewed by police investigating the accident.

The JCPD has identified Michael Spolizino, a Jersey City police officer who was off-duty at the time of the incident, as the alleged driver of the car that struck Clifford.

Chief Comey told NJ.com that Spolizino was not driving under the influence, although no field sobriety test was conducted.

Last week, Harkins said that he received a call from JCPD detectives, as have several other witnesses who live near the scene of the incident.

Healy threatens to sue Fulop for defamation

Claiming that City Councilman and mayoral candidate Steven Fulop has “ignored the facts,” Mayor Jerramiah T. Healy said last week that he plans to file a defamation lawsuit against his rival and challenger.

Healy’s ire has been stirred by a Fulop commercial and campaign mailer titled “Healy Got Away with It.” The ad and mailer both revisit 2009’s Operation Bid Rig, a notorious FBI sting that led to the arrests of 46 public officials and religious leaders in New Jersey and New York.

In the months leading up to the arrests of dozens of New Jersey politicians and public figures in July 2009, government informant Solomon Dwek met with those public officials posing as a real estate mogul interested in expediting Hudson County development projects in exchange for illegal cash payments. These real estate projects were, in fact, bogus and were part of an elaborate government sting operation.

Healy was never arrested or indicted in the sting. Several of his key allies – including former Deputy Mayor Leona Beldini, Jersey City Council President Mariano Vega, and political consultant Jack Shaw – were. Healy has repeatedly defended his reputation, stating that he never did anything that was illegal and he was not arrested for any crime.

In a Healy campaign press release issued on May 2, campaign spokesman Joshua Henne said, “Fact is, Mayor Healy never committed the crime that Fulop claims Healy committed in his ads and literature. Fact is, Mayor Healy was never charged with having committed such wrongs. Steve Fulop, his advisors, and his campaign know these facts, yet continue to make these disparaging statements – knowing them to be false. And they continue to make them with reckless disregard for their falsity…Time and again, Fulop has proven he’ll literally do or say anything to win this election. Simply put, Steve Fulop has published defamatory statements impugning and injuring Mayor Healy’s reputation; that’s why Mayor Healy is compelled to sue.”

The release did not specify when or in which court Healy planned to file his defamation lawsuit.

In response to the lawsuit threat, Fulop campaign spokesman Bruno Tedeschi said, “This lawsuit threat from Healy is another distraction from the mayor's failures and more evidence that his campaign is going down for the count. The hidden FBI surveillance video speaks for itself…The worst part about this is that Mayor Healy let a 78-year old grandmother, who was acting as his campaign treasurer and deputy mayor, take the fall.”

Healy campaign lit: Did mayor give rival Fulop a ‘nose job’?

Is it just us, or does Jersey City Councilman Steve Fulop look suspiciously unlike himself in some of the campaign literature being mailed by mayoral opponent Jerramiah T. Healy?

At first we thought it was just a bad graphics job gone wrong. But after a few other people pointed out the same campaign flier, we had to wonder.

In one Healy piece, mailed under the heading “What is Steven Fulop Hiding?” Fulop is shown with his face in three-quarter view. In the photo, the right profile of his nose appears to have a large bump that the councilman’s nose does not bear in-person. This same photo was used in a second Healy political mailer that states, “Steven Fulop Has a Plan… He Just Doesn’t Want You to Know About It.” Again, the nose bump is evident.

Fulop is a Jewish American of Eastern European descent.

Healy and Fulop are the top mayoral contenders in a race that is still too close to call.

The suspect campaign lit is reminiscent of the infamous June 27, 1994, Time magazine cover in which O.J. Simpson’s skin was digitally darkened. At the time, Simpson was facing double murder charges for the deaths of his ex-wife, Nicole Brown Simpson, and her friend Ron Goldman. After Simpson was arrested and formally charged, both Newsweek and Time used his mug shot for the covers of their magazines. In Time’s version of the mug shot, however, Simpson’s skin was noticeably darker than in the Newsweek version of the same photo.

African Americans were critical of the Time cover, arguing that it reinforced stereotypes of black men. Editors at Time later admitted a photo illustrator doctored the photo.

Similar questions were raised about a 2008 Barack Obama photo that was used by the campaign of rival Democratic presidential primary nominee Hillary Clinton.

But Healy spokesman Joshua Henne insisted Monday that nothing was altered in the photo.

“Absolute nothing was altered. Absolutely not,” said Henne. “That photo is on a flash drive someone has of a bunch of pictures of [Fulop].”

When asked whether Fulop believes the Healy campaign is playing ethnic politics, his spokesman, Bruno Tedeschi said, “Nothing would surprise us at this stage, given what Mayor Healy has already done to maintain his grip on City Hall…Rest assured, no matter what tactics Healy may use in this election, reformer Steve Fulop will put Jersey City on the right track when he is elected.”

The Jersey City municipal election will take place Tuesday, May 14.

Installation of new footbridge linking Jersey City’s downtown to Liberty State Park underway

Last Thursday the city began installation of a new footbridge between Jersey City’s downtown community and Liberty State Park. An old footbridge that had connected the two areas was washed away last fall during Hurricane Sandy.

Weather permitting, installation of a new prefabricated bridge should be completed by June, according to a press release issued by the city.

Since the beginning of the year, Clifton engineering firm T&M Associates has been working with the city’s engineering department on a design for the new bridge.

“We know how important this piece of infrastructure is to our residents, and that is why worked quickly with our Office of Emergency Management officials and our engineering staff to find a way to expedite the replacement of the Jersey Avenue footbridge,” said Mayor Jerramiah T. Healy in a prepared statement. “I am pleased that we will be able to open this bridge for use in the summer months.”

The bridge, which will provide vital pedestrian and cyclist access into and out of Liberty State Park, will cost approximately $750,000.

Money from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) will cover 75 percent of the repair and rebuilding costs, Healy Chief of Staff Rosemary McFadden said in January. The city is lobbying to see if infrastructural repairs related to hurricane damage can be reimbursed at 100 percent. Should this effort be unsuccessful, the city will have to pay for the remaining 25 percent of rebuilding costs.

Until it collapsed into the Mill Creek Basin during Hurricane Sandy last fall, the bridge, located about two blocks past Jersey City Medical Center, allowed easy access from downtown to Liberty State Park, including Liberty Science Center. The route was often used by cyclists, joggers, and pedestrians as a convenient path to Liberty State Park. Since the destruction of the bridge, thousands of downtown park visitors have had to take the Hudson-Bergen Light Rail or drive, and people who live in Lafayette have lost quick access to downtown.

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