Primary Election Day is this Tuesday; vote for Democratic freeholder nominees
Two Hobokenites and a Jersey City woman are fighting to be the Democratic nominee to District 5 of the Hudson County Board of Chosen Freeholders. Election Day is Tuesday.
You can vote for incumbent Anthony Romano, Phil Cohen, or Adela Rohena Santiago.
Polls are open from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. There are no Republican nominees.
For our past stories on the race, see hudsonreporter.com.
To find your local polling place, visit www.hudsoncountyclerk.org/elections/.
Former Mayor Roberts seeks help for charity for those who need legal aid
A Hoboken-based charity, the Waterfront Project, provides legal aid to people who otherwise couldn’t afford it. The group, founded in 2013 by a pastor at a local church who is also an attorney, has already served dozens of low-income people who need legal help with housing issues, consumer rip-offs, and other matters.
Former Mayor David Roberts has become involved and is hoping to raise money for the charity through a promotion at his restaurant, East L.A.
Roberts learned of the Waterfront Project from Msgr. Bob Meyer at St. Peter and Paul’s Church. Meyer decided to found the charity last year because he is an attorney and has so many lawyers in his parish, and thought they could help the needy population in Hoboken.
One way to give is to participate in the East L.A. promotion. Diners who clip a coupon (available on page 2 of The Hoboken Reporter and online) can get 25 percent off their total bill. Besides the fact that hungry patrons will save money, the Washington Street restaurant will match that amount and donate it to the Waterfront Project.
“I’m hoping more restaurants will get involved, and I think they will,” Roberts said.
East L.A. and Roberts have always been involved in giving. For several years, the restaurant provided free dinners for the needy on Thanksgiving. Roberts rents the next door space to Symposia Bookstore, a used book store and site of many community events, at a low rate. At a time when even chain bookstores can’t survive, it has helped keep this space open.
To get involved, you can find the ad with the coupon in this edition of the Hoboken Reporter. You can also read more about the Waterfront Project at: http://www.thewaterfrontproject.org/.
Watch for a more detailed story next week.
Area coach/charter school employee arrested on child sex abuse charges
An administrator at Elysian Charter School in Hoboken was arrested and charged with the sexual assault of several underage boys, the Hudson County Prosecutor’s Office said Tuesday.
John Mercado, 52, of Jersey City, served as an administrative assistant at the school, according to his LinkedIn profile. The profile lists various duties he performed at the school, including athletic director and middle school guidance counselor.
He had also worked in leagues in Jersey City as a coach.
Mercado allegedly molested seven underage boys, according to the prosecutor’s office. He was charged with multiple accounts of aggravated sexual assault, endangering the welfare of a child, sexual assault by contact, aggravated criminal sexual contact, and child abuse, officials said.
Elysian Charter notified parents of the arrest early on Monday, according to WABC.
“The news that has come out today about a member of our Elysian community is truly shocking and disturbing,” commented Elysian Director Harry Laub Ph. D. “The entire Elysian staff will be working sensitively with the children and we have counselors available to talk with the children and answer any questions as needed. We ask the Hoboken community to please support our students, staff and families while we recover from this very difficult situation.”
The school held a meeting for the school community on Tuesday night.
Bail for Mercado was set at $300,000. The investigation is ongoing and anyone with information that might be helpful to police is urged to call (201) 915-1234.
Two Hoboken councilwomen co-sponsoring ordinance that would eliminate use of parking boots
Two members of the City Council will try to overhaul Hoboken’s parking laws Wednesday by introducing a law that would abolish the city’s use of wheel clamps, commonly known as parking boots, which the council members say are debilitating to the city’s tourism industry and the public safety of its residents.
First Ward Councilwoman Theresa Castellano and 2nd Ward Councilwoman Beth Mason said in a press release on Tuesday that they believed the practice of booting is too often used to generate revenue for the city, rather than its stated goal of creating parking for residents by removing illegally parked cars. The city generated $5.6 million in parking ticket revenue in general in 2013, up $1 million from 2012.
The statement also said that the ordinance was spurred by recent news reports outlining the issue. A story that appeared in last weekend’s Hoboken Reporter tackled the legal issues associated with the city’s booting laws and can be viewed at http://bit.ly/1oJOXXr.
“If someone parks illegally, the City of Hoboken should ticket that driver,” said Mason in a statement. “But the practice of booting cars for the sake of generating revenue is overly harsh and mean spirited. It sends a message to local businesses that City Hall does not want to help attract patrons to Hoboken and it sends a message to residents that family and friends who visit them are seen as easy marks for City Hall to exploit for revenue.”
Castellano, who along with Mason is a member of the anti-Mayor Dawn Zimmer faction of the council, said that abolishing the booting policy is an apolitical no-brainer and should be passed unanimously.
“We have the opportunity to correct a wrong that has done harm to our residents and local businesses for far too long. I hope the council members who vote in lock step with the mayor will put politics aside and do the right thing for the people of Hoboken. It’s time to reboot Hoboken’s nonsensical parking law,” she said.
The next City Council meeting will take place on Wednesday, June 4 at 7 p.m. at City Hall, 94 Washington St. in Hoboken.
Hoboken Parking Master Plan public meeting to be held June 11
Last year, the City of Hoboken hired Arup, a nationally-recognized planning firm, to analyze and evaluate the city’s parking situation and prepare a city-wide parking master plan. The master plan will include recommendations for new parking facilities and a review of and recommendations regarding all parking policies, procedures, and signage, according to a statement released from City Hall.
All members of the Hoboken community are invited to a public meeting to provide input on the plan. The meeting will take place on Wednesday, June 11, 2014 from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. in the conference room of the Multi-Service Center, located at 124 Grand St. The meeting will be open house format with a presentation at 7 p.m.
An online survey to solicit additional feedback will also be posted to the City website following the meeting.
Zimmer to meet with seniors about Washington Street changes
There will be a lunch and community meeting for seniors on Tuesday, June 3 at 12:30 p.m. at the Multi Service Center. The RBA Group and Mayor Dawn Zimmer will be there to provide information and get feedback on plans for the Washington Street redesign. Free lunch will be provided after BINGO.
Little League plans car wash fundraiser
The Hoboken Little League will hold two car wash fundraisers on Saturday, May 31 and Saturday, June 7, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Little League Field on Fifth and Hudson Streets. Proceeds will go to new uniforms and equipment.
Chamber of Commerce announces First Annual Hoboken Women in Business Week
The Hoboken Chamber of Commerce Women in Business Council announced this week that a new campaign, the First Annual Hoboken Women in Business Week, will begin on June 15. The week will be marked citywide programs that highlight the impact enterprising women are making within the community. The weeklong event will be hosted online at www.hobokenwomentowatch.com, a new site launched by the chamber for the women in business.
Participants can shop exclusive deals and promotions from leading ladies who run companies, and women-owned entities can market their products and services through special offers. The Facebook page for the Women in Business Council will highlight testimonials, photos, tips, advice and much more during the week at www.facebook.com/womeninbusinesscouncil.
Hoboken Women in Business Week will be take place from June 15 to June 21. Hoboken residents can begin to learn more about the power of women in business and visit the site to catch a glimpse of who is involved. The site primarily showcases chamber members, but for Women in Business Week, promotions have been opened to both members and non-members within the community.
The Women in Business Council will host its bi-monthly Coffee Empowerment series from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. on June 17, bringing together nearly 50 participants to celebrate Women in Business Week. This event is free and will be held at Hoboken Hot House at 200 Monroe St., beginning at 8 a.m. sharp. Attendees can register online and more information can be found by requesting to be on their email list at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Women in Business Council is dedicated to growing women businesses, supporting women through advocacy and empowerment, and providing networking opportunities. Learn more about the leading ladies who make up the council and get excited to join in their mission at www.hobokenwomentowatch.com.
Support Weehawken High School Peer Leadership
A fundraiser for the Weehawken High School Peer Leadership group is being held on Monday, June 2 from 5 to 9 p.m. at Houlihan’s at 1200 Harbor Boulevard, Weehawken.
The Weehawken High School Peer Leadership group is designed to get students involved in civic-related activities. The program instills a sense of pride in the community, both within school and in their daily lives.
Participants engage in activities throughout the community and raise money for charities such as the Special Olympics of New Jersey.
A portion of the proceeds from the event on June 2 will go to benefit Weehawken Peer Leadership.