Panhandling ordinance withdrawn; red-light cameras retained
A controversial ordinance that would have given Jersey City police an additional tool to deal with overly aggressive panhandling was withdrawn after it was proposed to be introduced at the March 26 City Council meeting. About a half dozen residents spoke out against the ordinance at the public portion of the meeting, claiming police already had the power to arrest people who became disorderly.
Meanwhile the City Council rejected an attempt to cancel a contract that operates 34 red-light cameras at 20 intersections throughout the city.
While a number of residents spoke out against the cameras, claiming they were an invasion of privacy or an additional tax imposed on the public, council members were caught in a bind because some wanted to vote do away with them, but risked paying a $4.7 million penalty for ending the contract early. The contract expires in 2017 and provides the city with nearly $3 million revenue from tickets issues. Public Safety officials said the police reviewed about 127,000 video clips from suspected violations in 2013, which resulted in about 74,000 tickets being issued.
Police also said that the cameras are also used in providing police with additional information when a crime in committed in the area.
Council members Candice Osborne and Richard Boggiano said some studies show that the cameras may not be accurate and may also provide a danger to the public, when cars either see the warning signs late or not at all, and slam on their brakes. While Boggiano voted to do away with the cameras, the other members of the council decided to wait until the contract came up for renewal to review it.
Tree recovery program launched
Mayor Steven M. Fulop announced that the New Jersey Tree Recovery Campaign will make tree seedlings free and available to Jersey City residents during the month of April to help communities replace trees that were damaged or destroyed by Hurricane Sandy. The Jersey City Parks Coalition will distribute 400 tree seedlings from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday, April 12 in Columbia Park, at 145 Old Bergen Road; Arlington Park, at 752 Grand St.; Harsimus Cemetery, at 435 Newark Ave.; Van Vorst Park, at 257 Montgomery St.; Leonard Gordon Park, at John F. Kennedy Blvd. and Manhattan Avenue; Bayside Park, at Garfield Avenue and Bayside Terrace; Living Community Garden, at 612-616 Communipaw Ave.; Lafayette and Community Learning Garden, at 314 Pacific Ave.
Residents may receive one to five seedlings, which are available on a first-come, first-served basis. Residents should plant the seedlings within two days after pick-up in order to prevent the roots from drying out.
For more information, please contact Alisha Powers at (201) 547-5296 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Health information An Information Session on Healthy Eating, and free dental screenings for children at Metropolitan Family Health Network, 935 Garfield Ave. in Jersey City, will take place on Monday, March 31. From 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., a health educator will provide tips on foods that will improve oral and physical health, and there will be free dental screenings for all children who attend (and are accompanied by an adult) from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Metropolitan Family Health Network is located right by the Garfield Avenue Light Rail stop. For more information, please call (201) 478-5836.
What a wasteland!
“Wastelands,” a multimedia exhibition featuring artists from Jersey City and Chicago, will hold its opening night on April 12 from 5 to 9 p.m. at 313 Gallery, 3rd St. Jersey City.
The show will run from April. 12 to May 18.
Another tower may be planned for Journal Square
A 42-story residential tower may be planned for Journal Square, according to a report in The Wall Street Journal.
HAP Investments LLC is reportedly paying $28 million for the 88,000 square foot property at 500 Summit Ave.
Although the company has no firm plans for the site yet, it’s management has been quoted saying the site could accommodate a 42-story building.
Reporter introduces new medical advice blog
Beginning Monday, readers of the Reporter web page (hudsonreporter.com) will be able to read a daily blog of medical advice from Hoboken resident Dr. Jonathan M. Metsch. Dr. Metsch’s blog, “Doctor, Did You Wash Your Hands?,” provides information to consumers on understanding, managing and navigating their health care options.
The inaugural blog addresses doctor-patient relations. Dr. Metsch stresses that “It is important to become a partner with your doctor in managing your health care. This blog’s goal is to introduce new concepts such as evidence based medicine, the value of electronic medical records, preparing for a doctor’s appointment using helpful web sites, implications of in and out of ‘network’ care, hospital ‘report cards,’ reference pricing, value-based insurance, selecting a physician, and hospitalists.”
Dr. Metsch was president and CEO of LibertyHealth/Jersey City Medical Center from 1989-2006, a commissioner of the Hoboken Municipal Hospital Authority, and a member of the team that “privatized” the city-owned hospital that became Hoboken University Medical Center. Currently Dr. Metsch is an adjunct professor at the RutgersSchool of Public Affairs and Administration, and Rutgers School of Public Health, and clinical professor, Preventive Medicine, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. This academic year Dr. Metsch is teaching at the MPA/ MPH programs at Rutgers, the Baruch MBA Program in Health Care Administration, and the MPH program at Mount Sinai.
To find the blog, updated each morning, go to hudsonreporter.com and click on "Community" and then "Health."