According to an obituary in the Asbury Park Press, Austin Janowski, 19, of Howell, died on Saturday, Aug. 19. Janowski drove the Honda Ridgeline that rammed into a Dodge Caravan in Freehold in June, killing the passengers, including local priest Father Michael Guglielmelli.
Guglielmelli, 81, and his sister Dolores Guglielmelli, 87, died the night of the June 4 crash.Their sister, Antoinette Gallina, 85, known as Shirley, died five days later.
Janowski graduated from Colts Neck High School in 2015. He was in California at a recovery house at the time of his death, “where he was searching for peace within,” according to the obit.
The obit said, “Austin was a special person with a caring and gentle soul. Austin was compassionate and provided laughter and joyfulness to all that he touched, but he could not find greatness or happiness within himself.”
Director of Hoboken transportation and parking resigns
Mayor Dawn Zimmer announced that Transportation and Parking Director John Morgan will resign from his position effective Friday, Sept. 1 to pursue other professional opportunities.
Morgan was hired by Zimmer in 2013 as director of the department.
Prior to Hoboken he established the Department of Parking Services in Westfield, where he served as director. He has also served on the Union County Transportation Advisory Board.
Zimmer will appoint Ryan Sharp as Acting Director of the Department of Transportation and Parking. Sharp has served as principal planner in the department for the past six years.
“I thank Director Morgan for his years of service to Hoboken,” Zimmer said in a press release. “He played a key role in helping our team advance the Washington Street redesign project, southwest traffic circulation plan, Newark Street safety improvement project, Sinatra Drive shared use path, pay-by-phone parking option, bike share program, upgrades to the Hop shuttle, and many other projects that have improved the safety and quality of life of our community. I wish him continued success as he takes his next steps in his career.”
Forums to be held soon for mayor, school board
The Hoboken Quality of Life Coalition will host a Board of Education candidate forum on Thursday Sept. 7 at the School Hall of the Church of Our Lady of Grace and St. Joseph at 422 Willow Ave. Nine candidates are running for three seats on Nov. 7 (see sidebar to cover story on school board meeting).
The Mayoral Candidates Forum will take place on Wednesday, Oct. 25, at Stevens Institute of Technology’s DeBaun Auditorium. Dates and locations for candidate forums for the at-large City Council will be announced soon.
This year’s candidate forums will follow the established format that the Hoboken QLC has maintained for over a decade. These events, moderated by Bob Bowdon, a professional interviewer and longtime resident of Hoboken, have consistently presented a lively exchange of policy ideas, opinions, and comments.
The QLC said they are grateful for the support of the Parish of Our Lady of Grace and St. Joseph and Stevens Institute of Technology and its Student Government Association.
Senators want sleep apnea testing to continue
Senators from New Jersey and New York have urged the federal Department of Transportation to reconsider a recent decision to drop a proposed requirement to test train and truck operators for sleep apnea. Last September a train crashed into Hoboken Terminal injuring over 100 people and killing local mother Fabiola Bittar De Kroon.
The train’s engineer was later diagnosed with sleep apnea.
The cause of the crash is still under investigation by the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB).
“Our region, in particular, has been devastated in recent years by rail accidents with links to sleep apnea,” the senators wrote.
Sleep apnea is a chronic condition that interferes with breathing during sleep and causes daytime drowsiness and fatigue.
New Jersey Senators Cory Booker and Robert Menendez as well as New York Senators Chuck Schumer and Kristen Gillibrand asked Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao in a letter to provide the data and information the department used to make its decision to withdraw the proposed rule earlier this month.
“We strongly believe that DOT should immediately reconsider the decision in order to help avoid future fatigue-related tragedies,” the senators wrote. “Due to our serious concern over this decision to vacate this potentially life-saving rule, please provide our offices all data and information used to make the decision to withdraw the rule, and DOT’s plan to identify and treat operators suffering from obstructive sleep apnea before more fatal tragedies take place.”
Hoboken mayoral candidate condemns Charlottesville violence, says she is ‘not Donald Trump’
City Council President and mayoral candidate Jen Giattino posted a Facebook message last weekend in response to the violence in Charlottesville, Va., and Donald Trump’s subsequent statement condemning violence on “both sides.”
She also may have been responding to a Hoboken Reporter cover article over the weekend in which the various council candidates gave their opinions on the Trump administration. Months ago, Giattino, a Republican, had declined to comment on Trump, but then later said she did not vote for Trump.
On Facebook over the weekend, she wrote, “As I continue to talk to neighbors and reflect on the events in Charlottesville as well as the marches in Boston, I am coming to realize that some may believe my party affiliation defines who I am. This only makes me more determined to ring every doorbell in Hoboken and meet each of you personally,” she wrote. “Anyone who knows me understands that I am not Donald Trump. I am not someone else’s words or ideas. I am me, I have my own principles and my own conscience, and I got my own way in the office I hold, just as I will when I am mayor.”
She added, “I reject entirely Donald Trump’s mixed message on tolerance and the room he gave hate groups and white supremacists. It saddens me that the president and his administration didn’t immediately condemn unequivocally the hate and violence that led to Heather Heyer’s death and make it clear that there is no room in our nation for hate groups and racism and bigotry. As committed as I am against all intolerance, I am just as committed to taking care of people. It’s really that simple, whether in a significant crisis or in their everyday lives.”
She added that she believes in smart city government spending, developing local business, and in combating flooding, parking, aging water mains, and overdevelopment.
She added, “I want to see diversity in our schools. I worry about the displacement of long time residents who find living here increasingly unaffordable. I believe in civil and women’s rights. I don’t need to have a gun. And I’m concerned about the effects of climate change on our city and our children’s future. That’s the beginning and the end of it.
“I am eager to speak with every single member of our community who has a concern about the city’s direction and where I would steer it. I am sure that after that conversation you will know that labeling people might be convenient, especially around election time, but rarely paints a full picture of who they are.”
Auditions scheduled for Music on Broadway series
Open auditions will be held for the Music on Broadway series, held each Friday in Bayonne. This very popular, city-sponsored event places paid performers at various dining establishments in Bayonne each Friday.
A meeting and auditions will be held on Thursday, Aug. 31 from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. at The Vic Tavern, 107 Hobart Ave., Bayonne. All interested musicians should be prepared to perform one or two songs. For additional information, please contact Terry Young (20) 615-9768 or Dee Dee Bottino (201) 858-6357.
Music on Broadway is sponsored by The City of Bayonne, The Bayonne Urban Enterprise Zone and The Hudson Reporter.
New art exhibit featuring flowers
Local artist Bernd Peter Daferner has a current exhibit at Hudson Flowers of Hoboken at 92 Hudson St.
The show, Botanica, exhibits a portfolio of botanical mixed media images. Botanica represents a fresh interest for the artist who is an avid gardener.
“Bernd is attracted to nature in all its forms and concerned with the numerous threats to our environment and climate,” says a press release. “Beginning with photography to capture the sensuous attraction of natural beauty, he manipulates the image to create a vision which alludes to the shadow, darkness, and menace that hide behind nature as well as every other aspects of our lives these days.”
The works are inspired by the portfolios of botanical engravings popular in the 18th and 19th centuries, as well as by the “Secret Language of Flowers” of Queen Victoria’s era.
Hoboken mayor’s chief of staff resigns to run Bhalla campaign
Councilman Ravi Bhalla, candidate for mayor of Hoboken, named Vijay Chaudhuri, who is leaving his position as chief of staff to Mayor Dawn Zimmer, as his campaign manager on Tuesday, Aug. 22.
“Chaudhuri brings an in-depth understanding of Hoboken politics as well as demonstrated political and organizational skills to the task,” said the press release from Bhalla.
Before serving as Zimmer’s chief of staff, Chaudhuri worked in a number of capacities for U.S. Rep. Joe Crowley (D-NY), including serving as campaign manager on one of his re-election campaigns. Chaudhuri has also served as campaign manager of Edison Mayor Jun Choi’s re election campaign.
Chaudhuri joins Christian Duffy, who is serving as field director, on the campaign staff. Duffy served as deputy field director for Jim Johnson in his gubernatorial campaign, and as a regional organizing director for the Hillary Clinton for President campaign, among other campaigns he has worked on around the nation. In 2015, he was the Get-Out-The-Vote Director for the Zimmer-backed council candidates in Hoboken.
Ravi Bhalla said in a press release, “I am pleased that Vijay is coming on board full time. Together with Christian, he gives us a strong ground team to lead us to victory on November 7.”
In a separate press release, Zimmer said, “Vijay has seen Hoboken through many challenges and has been a valuable team member in many of our accomplishments for our city’s residents. I thank him very much for his strong dedication to our city and wish him the very best in the future.”