Hoboken emergency workers break car window to save doll
The tragic phenomenon of parents accidentally leaving their children in cars during the summer — causing their child to die of heatstroke in a short time — has gotten a lot of publicity this year. Cars can heat up very quickly, even with open windows, so law enforcement is trying to get the word out that parents have to remember not to leave their kids in the car seat when they go to work, and they should not leave their children in the car to go shopping or for any other reason.
As of mid-July, more than 16 kids in the U.S. had already died this summer from heatstroke because they were left inside hot cars, according to a release from Jersey City Medical Center. It's not only negligent parents who do this; parents of all types–sometimes overtired, sometimes just with a lot on their mind–can forget their child is in a rear-facing car seat and leave the baby in the back while they go into work. They may forget it's their day to stop at day care, or some other reason. Other times, parents leave their kids in the car to do errands, nor realizing how hot it can get in a short time.
This summer, the Philadelphia Police Department got publicity for sending around a harsh notice that they will smash a car window to save any child or pet they see left in a seat. An average of 38 children die per year from being left in hot cars, and any bystanders are encouraged to alert police if they see a child in a car.
Apparently, Hoboken emergency workers are following a similar policy. A woman in town got an unexpected surprise on Wednesday when she found out that emergency workers had smashed her window to save...a doll.
According to the woman’s boss, who owns a small business in the mile-square city, the woman was working when a friend called her to tell her that her car had been broken into. When she called the police, they explained the situation.
The life-size doll had been sitting in a seat.
“All they had to do was look in the window,” the woman's boss, who wanted to stay anonymous, told the Hoboken Reporter on Thursday morning. “It was broad daylight. I can understand if it was the middle of the night, but it wasn't.”
He also wished they had let the woman know what happened immediately. He said that when she contacted them, they told her she can try to talk to City Hall about reimbursement.
He said he understood...partly. “I certainly appreciate the response and concern from the police and EMS,” he said. “Just take a couple of seconds and look in the window.”
Hoboken city officials said that several onlookers called emergency workers because they thought a child was trapped in the car.
Thursday afternoon, Hoboken Mayor Dawn Zimmer sent a statement: “We stand behind the actions of our Hoboken Volunteer Ambulance Corps and thank them for their work every day to keep Hoboken residents safe. I hope this unusual story can be a reminder to all parents never to leave your children in a hot car and to residents that if you see a child or a pet in a hot car, you should definitely call for help to address the situation.”
New wine store in uptown Hoboken celebrates grand opening
Hobokenites flocked to the grand opening of Cork Wine & Spirits Wednesday evening to enjoy wine and hors d’oeuvres from around the world. Mayor Dawn Zimmer was on hand to cut a ribbon in celebration of the new addition to the city’s flourishing northern end.
The liquor store at 1450 Washington St. officially opened on July 3. Mike Garcia, who co-founded the business with Debbie Kemp, said he was focused on offering excellent customer service and a unique and changing inventory to Hoboken’s thirsty citizens.
Cork’s selection emphasizes small distributors and wineries who are new to Hoboken. According to Garcia, Cork is the only liquor store in the United States that carries a pair of artisanal beers from Italian brewery Fravort. He said he discovered the beers during a meal at nearby wine bar Bin 14.
Cork has made efforts to involve the community in its store. It holds frequent wine and beer samplings, and has organized panels of five customers who taste and rate beverages that Cork is considering for its inventory.
Kemp said she and Garcia chose to open their store in uptown Hoboken because the area has the greatest growth potential of any neighborhood in the city. Cork is one of two anchor tenants of a new commercial storefront owned by the Toll Brothers on Washington Street between Fourteenth and Fifteenth streets.
Outdoor Shakespeare returns with performances of ‘Pericles’ in August
Hoboken residents can see Shakespeare at his most adventurous when the Hudson Shakespeare Company wraps up its 23rd touring season with five outdoor performances of “Pericles, Prince of Tyre” in Hoboken and Jersey City in August.
The play tells the story of Pericles, the King of Tyre in modern-day Lebanon, who journeys around the Mediterranean through the great cities of antiquity, searching for his wife and daughter. The tale features brothels, pirates, incestuous royals, belly dancers, assassins, and jousting knights.
“We're using music and physical storytelling to help the audience along the way,” said director Noelle Fair. “We create shipwrecks and other magical feats by using simple elements like wooden dowels, pretty umbrellas, blue scraps of fabric and variety of international music.”
“Pericles” will be performed twice at Frank Sinatra Park in Hoboken, on Monday, Aug. 11 and Monday, Aug. 18. Both shows begin at 7 p.m.
The play is free to the public and family friendly. Patrons are encouraged to bring lawn chairs and blankets and coolers to enjoy the festival atmosphere. For more information, visit hudsonshakespeare.homestead.com or call 973 449-7443.
Sewerage Authority to begin improvements to Jackson Street sewers Monday
The North Hudson Sewerage Authority will begin to replace three blocks of dilapidated sewer along Jackson Street between Newark Street and First Street on Monday, Aug. 4. The project is expected to last around 8 to 10 weeks.
According to the city, the existing wooden box sewer beneath Jackson Street was a “deteriorated and partially collapsed” relic from the 1870s that contributing to chronic flooding issues in the area. Much of the sewer system in Hoboken’s southwest has already been replaced in the last decade.
The first phase will cover Jackson Street from Paterson Plank Road to First Street, and is expected to take 2 to 3 weeks. During that time, no parking is allowed on the block where work is taking place.
The North Hudson Sewerage Authority is expected to spend approximately $795,000 to complete the project.
In other infrastructure improvements news, Hudson County began repaving on Willow Avenue between Eleventh and Thirteenth Streets last week. According to city spokesman Juan Melli, milling took place last Monday and paving was scheduled for Friday, Aug. 1. If all goes according to plan, the new asphalt should be striped and ready to drive on this coming week.
WNYC: Hoboken High School scraps laptop program, citing persistent issues
Hoboken Junior Senior High School plans to destroy some of its stock of laptops this summer, marking the final coup de grace of an issue-plagued program to provide a computer to each of its students. According to a WNYC report, the program will be ended due to the skyrocketing cost of maintaining the laptops and their limited value in instruction.
In March 2010, the Hoboken Reporter noted that the Hoboken Board of Education had approved the purchase of 250 laptops for seventh and eighth graders using money from the 2009 federal stimulus law. At the time, board member Maureen Sullivan spoke out against the program, warning of “unexpected costs and the potential to overburden the district tech staff.”
Sullivan’s fears unfortunately came true. Jerry Crocamo, a computer network engineer at HJSHS, told WNYC that his staff could not handle the amount of repairs required to keep the laptops up and running.
“We bought laptops that had reinforced hard-shell cases so that we could try to offset some of the damage these kids were going to do,” said Crocamo. “I was pretty impressed with some of the damage they did anyway. Some of the laptops would come back to us completely destroyed.”
Some laptops were also stolen or lost, forcing the tech support staff to file police reports and testify in court.
With firewalls, security safegurds, and anti-theft software installed, some laptops had trouble actually running educational software. Better replacement laptops would have cost twice as much, according to outgoing superintendent Mark Toback.
Toback said teachers should have been given more guidance in how to use the computers in a classroom setting. “We had the money to buy them, but maybe not the best implementation,” he told WNYC. “It became unsustainable.”
The school board must approve disposing of the laptops. They meet next on Aug. 19.
In a letter to the Hoboken community this past Thursday, interim superintendent Richard Brockel, who will take over fully for Toback on Aug. 11, clarified that the school district has only discontinued its policy of providing laptops to every seventh and eighth grader. Instead, it will now provide rolling laptop carts for use in classrooms, making use of 200 of the laptops from the earlier program.
Church of Our Lady of Grace accepting new enrollees for religious education classes
The Church of Our Lady of Grace and St. Joseph in Hoboken is now accepting registration for its 2014 – 2015 CCD Program. The program offers religious instruction to children in grades 1-8, including preparation for First Holy Communion (second grade) & Confirmation (eighth grade). Hour-long classes are held every Sunday from September to April in the OLG/St. Joseph parish halls. To get more information or register for the classes, call the Rectory at 201- 659-0369 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
NJ Supreme Court affirms that Hoboken improperly struck rent control referendum petition
The New Jersey Supreme Court ruled Thursday that the city of Hoboken was in violation the law when it moved to prevent a referendum concerning the rights of those living in rent-controlled apartments from being placed on the ballot.
Ordinance Z-88, which was passed by the Hoboken City Council in 2011, made it easier for landlords to raise the rent in rent-controlled apartments after tenants left and limited the amount of time tenants had to challenge alleged overcharging.
In response, the Hoboken Fair Housing Association (HFHA) gathered signatures to put Ordinance Z-88 to a city-wide referendum. An HFHA press release said that the petition did not receive signatures from a required 15 percent of the number of voters voting in the last NJ General Assembly election due to “incorrect information provided by Hudson County.”
As a result, the Hoboken City Clerk moved to keep the referendum off the ballot.
HFHA filed suit, and both a lower court and the Appellate Division said that the city’s actions in refusing to recognize the petition for a referendum were improper, a ruling that the Supreme Court upheld Thursday.
As a result of the prior court decisions, the anti-Z-88 referendum was placed on the November ballot in 2011, where it was resoundingly defeated, keeping the ordinance in place.
Local activist Cheryl Fallick said the newest decision does not change the existing law, but sets a precedent for local citizen groups. It allows them to collect legal fees, for one.
Rent control, which limits increases on buildings built before 1987, has long been the subject of a tug-of-war in Hoboken between local tenant activists and landlords/taxpayers' associations.