Riverview Jazz Fest is June 2
The burgeoning jazz scene in the Jersey City Heights will be the focus of the inaugural Riverview Jazz Festival on Sunday, June 2, in Riverview Fisk Park.
Presented by Farms in the Heights, the festival will be a free, day-long event featuring live performances, children’s activities and a pop-up art show in the neighboring Community Gardens (for children of all ages).
“We are excited to be showcasing some amazing live talent and celebrating the vibrant diversity of Jersey City Heights,” said festival’s organizer Will Tatz. “Anyone who has been to Riverview Fisk Park knows how spectacular the views are. It’s a great showcase for the newly designated Riverview Arts District, and even though our historic gazebo was destroyed by Hurricane Sandy, this park has hosted live performances dating back to the early 20th Century, and we intend to revive that tradition. It will be a unique musical experience for the city.”
Money will also be raised for the restoration of the historic gazebo.
The lineup for the festival features five musically diverse artists, each with ties to the Heights neighborhood, which is the most diverse community in the city. The festival is being held in conjunction with the weekly Farms in the Heights farmer’s market, which features locally-sourced and wholesome food vendors.
The festival line-up includes ZONE, Beninghove’s Hangmen, Tracy Stark,
New Tricks, Pat Van Dyke.
Honor Our Heroes celebration to be held at Harsimus Memorial Park
On the Memorial Day holiday, the Jersey City and Harsimus Memorial Park will host “Honor Our Heroes,” a musical military tribute to U.S. veterans. The ceremony is free and will include participation from members of the public. The park is located at 435 Newark Ave. For more information, call (201) 707-0738.
Connelly latest to petition court in runoff election bid
On May 23, former City Council at-large candidate Sean Connelly filed a petition in Hudson County Superior Court requesting that he be allowed to participate in the upcoming runoff election scheduled for Tuesday, June 11. Connelly’s move came days after Peter Brennan and Omar Perez successfully filed petitions asking that their names not be included in the runoff election ballot.
Connelly’s petition led a judge to force the Office of the City Clerk to stop printing ballots and other materials that include candidates’ names.
A judge will consider Connelly’s petition at a hearing scheduled for Tuesday, May 28.
A professional-level gambling scorecard is needed to keep up with all the changes that have taken place on the runoff ballot.
At press time Friday, Charles Epps Jr. and Frank Gajewski were still in the race for Ward A. Khemraj “Chico” Ramchal was the only candidate still left in running for Ward B after former Ward B candidate Gerald Meyers successfully filed a petition to be excluded from the runoff ballot. Nidia Lopez and Richard Boggiano are still running for the City Council’s Ward C seat. Sean Connors and Michael Yun we still in the hunt for Ward D seat.
While there was a report on NJ.com that Jermaine Robinson may abandon his bid for Ward F, his name was still on the ballot as of press time. Unless he petitions the court to be excluded from the ballot, Robinson’s name will appear on the ballot for Ward F, along with that of Diane Coleman.
At present, the four candidates are still running for the council’s three at-large seats: Viola Richardson, Rolando Lavarro Jr., Joyce Watterman, and Daniel Rivera.
Jersey Avenue footbridge reopens this weekend
Just in time for the upcoming holiday weekend, the city last week inaugurated the new Jersey Avenue footbridge that links downtown to Liberty State Park. An official ribbon cutting ceremony was held at the footbridge on May 24.
The bridge is located on Jersey Avenue and Mill Creek, about two blocks past Jersey City Medical Center.
An older bridge that had linked the two sites for years was destroyed last October during Hurricane Sandy. Since then, several community groups whose members had used the bridge for running, biking, and jogging, have pressured the city to replace it before summer.
The construction and installation costs of the new bridge was about $800,000. The city has applied to the Federal Emergency Management Agency to be reimbursed for the full cost of the new bridge.
“We know how important this piece of infrastructure is to our residents, and that is why we worked 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. “I am pleased that we have been able to complete this project on schedule and open the bridge for the Memorial Day weekend.”
According to a press release issued by the city, the new bridge will be officially named the Ethel Pesin Liberty Footbridge, in honor of the late Ethel Pesin, who was a founding trustee of the Friends of Liberty State Park. Ethel Pesin and her husband Morris Pesin were the driving forces behind the creation of Liberty State Park.
"I'm very grateful for the 17 neighborhood and civic groups – particularly the Historic Paulus Hook Association, The Van Vorst Park Association, and the Friends of Van Vorst Park – which advocated for the replacement of the destroyed footbridge which connects Liberty State Park to downtown and gives an additional connection between the Lafayette and downtown neighborhoods,” said Sam Pesin, Friends of Liberty State Park President Sam Pesin, Morris and Ethel’s son. “I’m also grateful for Mayor Healy and his administration for prioritizing and expediting this important connection and for downtown Councilman and Mayor-elect Steve Fulop’s strong support for the footbridge replacement. I hope thousands of people enjoy the footbridge this summer season and throughout the year.”
A separate ceremony will be held in the coming weeks to dedicate and name the bridge, according to the release.
Hudson County Long Term Recovery Committee to assist Sandy victims
Many Hudson County residents are still struggling in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, with both property damage and mental health issues.
The Hudson County Long Term Recovery Committee (HCLTRC) has partnered with World Renew, an international relief group, to have teams of volunteers open several walk-in centers and to conduct a door-to-door survey of Hudson County residents who have been affected by Hurricane Sandy, primarily in the flood-prone areas. The surveys will be conducted from June 5 through June 19.
Thousands of households in Hudson County filed applications for Federal Emergency Management Agency assistance after the storm. The survey is an important step in finding families who need help.
World Renew volunteers are known as the “Green Shirts” because of their uniforms. The Green Shirts have been conducting the surveys in response to disasters around the country for 20 years and plan on bringing survey teams to all of the heavily impacted communities.
Residents who have been affected by the storm don’t have to wait for the Green Shirts to knock on their doors. For more information, call the Recovery Information Center at (551) 333-5080 from June 5 to 19. Walk-in center sites include several Jersey City locations.
All Hudson County residents are eligible to fill out an assessment and to find out about recovery resources available to them. Residents who sustained wind and tree damage but who live outside the flood area are encouraged to call the Information Center to do an assessment.
Hudson County woman tries to save life of her brother, a former Bayonne resident
Steven J. Kilianski, a native of Bayonne, desperately needs the support of his community. Kilianski was diagnosed a couple of years ago with a very rare malignant tumor located in the pineal gland of his brain. After having survived life-threatening surgery, he underwent radiation treatment in hopes of shrinking the tumor, and it did, but not 100 percent. He remained in remission for 14 months.
This past January a follow up MRI revealed that the tumor had grown back. Now the reality has set in that this tumor is aggressive and grows very rapidly. He was advised by his team of doctors to undergo Cyber Knife treatments. Renee Kilianski, a Hoboken resident and Steven’s sister, said her family was hopeful, but now their concern has since grown.
“We were all hopeful that this would do it, rid him of this crippling disease, only to be told after another follow-up MRI that only 30 percent of the tumor is gone,” she said. “This was, to say the least, devastating news. His team of doctors has informed us that there are no other options for treatment and surgery is not a viable option either. They advised us to look into clinical trials and medical expenses not covered by insurance that may be an option for Steven to prolong his life, but unfortunately is not covered by insurance.”
The Kilianski family, including Steven’s 2-year-old son Christian, is now reaching out to the public for help. They are asking for donations to cover the cost for the clinical trial and medical expenses not covered by insurance. According to Renee, “Whatever gift you can give, big or small, will certainly help us in this fight for our loved one’s life and will be greatly appreciated.”
The family will hold a fundraiser in Hoboken at Room 84 (http://room84hoboken.com/) on May 30, from 7 – 10 p.m. Tickets are $65, which include a three-hour open bar and food. People can go on the Give Forward website to donate or mail donations to Patricia Kilianski, 266 Avenue F, Bayonne, N.J. 07002. Checks must be made out to Steven J. Kilianski Brain Cancer Fund.
For those who want to come to the fundraiser on Thursday, tickets can be purchased through PayPal on the following link:
Hudson County CASA to hold information session June 4
Are you interested in helping children in the foster care system? If so, Hudson County CASA (court appointed special advocates) is currently recruiting volunteers to advocate for the best interests of abused and neglected children. CASA works through trained community volunteers to insure that needed services and assistance are made available to children while helping to move them toward safe and permanent homes.
CASA and its volunteers speak for children in court, serve as fact finders for the judges and safeguard the interests of the children while they are in the foster care system.
Please attend an information session to learn more about the program and the role of its volunteers on Tuesday, June 4 from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. in Room 400 of the Hudson County Administration Building, 595 Newark Ave., Jersey City.
Hudson County has nearly 700 children in foster care; most have been removed from their homes for abuse or neglect. For further information, please call (201) 795-9855, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.hudsoncountycasa.org.