Bayonne officials complained last week about Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop’s derogatory use of the term “Bayonne Boxes” when he issued a moratorium on the demolition of old homes in Jersey City and impending construction of cookie-cutter replacement homes in their place.
The remark ignited a series of twitter responses from Fulop, causing additional criticism from Bayonne council members.
The Jersey City Council last month reviewed a map of proposed demolition that showed a huge spike in demolition of homes in Jersey City Heights. Fulop issued a temporary moratorium in order to allow the city to review whether well-built and maintained homes were being targeted in order to make room for what he saw as “Bayonne Boxes.”
Ogden Avenue, where Fulop lives, has seen a spike in the construction of these houses in an area seen as one of the most prestigious neighborhoods in the city.
Fulop said a law passed in 1991 allows the city to review demolition of homes that are 150 years or older.
Some builders with plans in the works for demolition and construction have threatened to sue the city.
In response to the threat, Fulop joked in a Tweet: “All in good fun – These were two rhymes about dating but I guess it applies to Bayonne Box architecture as well 1) Exit 14A stay away. 2) If it’s in Bayonne leave it alone.”
Bayonne officials who took offense at the negative connotations have demanded an apology.
“Our city is in the middle of a total revitalization, with new developments bringing in millions in new tax revenue and creating a brighter future for our community. The last thing we need is a neighboring mayor reinforcing old stereotypes and publicly attacking our city’s image, and I expect Mayor Fulop to apologize,” 2nd Ward Councilman Sal Gullace said.
Fulop responded with a Tweet.
“Oh please…. spare me. This is the big chance to get a newspaper story out of a joke. Here we go with the press releases demanding an apology. Look…I make fun of myself publicly, I’m not shy about poking fun at different mayors, you all need to lighten up and take a joke.”
While the dispute may seem exaggerated, there may be a political motive behind it.
Bayonne Mayor James Davis and the three council people who issued the demand for an apology are running for reelection. Davis reportedly is supporting County Executive Tom DeGise in a larger countywide political conflict. Fulop, along with Union City Mayor Brian Stack, Hoboken Mayor Ravi Bhalla, and West New York Mayor Felix Roque, are trying to unseat DeGise in 2019.
But Stack needs to put together committee votes to become chairman of the Hudson County Democratic Organization to accomplish this. Davis currently controls the Bayonne committee votes. If Davis should lose as mayor to challenger Jason O’Donnell, those committee votes could help Stack become chairman in a vote scheduled for June.
A chance to see the musical ‘Hamilton’
The Ethical Community Charter School’s Performing Arts Program is set to open the third major student theatrical production in less than one year. This show is called “Seize the Day.” It is being directed by highly sought after vocal coach Molly Dunn of “Singing with Molly” and will have three performances. April 18 at 6:30 p.m.is opening night, with a double show on April 21 at 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. and has 50 students performing from grades 2-8.
To help fund this performing arts program, a special offer will allow the general public to take part in a raffle for seats to three Tony Award winning Broadway shows.
With every $25 donation to the TECCS Performing Arts Program a person receives three raffle tickets to win a pair of house seats of their choice.
Raffle tickets are available online now through April 21. The drawing will take place on April 21 after the 3 p.m. show of “Seize The Day.” People do not have to be present to be a winner. All winners will be contacted.
The prizes include two house seats to “Hamilton” on Broadway includes an offer from Euan Morton, who plays King George, for the winner to go backstage to meet him after their performance and receive a backstage tour.
Another prize includes two house seats to “Wicked” on Broadway as well as a backstage tour.
A third prize includes two house seats to “Dear Evan Hansen,” but a back stage tour is not available for this show.
People can purchase raffle tickets online at https://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/3378682.
Proceeds go to sustaining performing arts at The Ethical Community Charter School in Jersey City.
Jersey City promotes renewable energy
Mayor Fulop has announced 2018 as the Year of Energy for Jersey City, which will include a variety of initiatives, events, and programming designed to increase use of renewable energy, reduce carbon and other emissions from energy production, improve the energy efficiency of city operations, and help residents conserve energy and reduce their carbon footprint. The initiatives will work across city departments to mainstream sustainability across all city operations and decision-making.
“At a time of federal inaction to fight climate change, it is vital for cities to take the lead on sustainability, and Jersey City is no exception,” said Mayor Fulop. “Finding bold new ways to reduce our carbon footprint and reduce energy usage is key to moving our city forward.”
The Year of Energy initiatives will support the entire Jersey City community in understanding where the city’s energy comes from and what individuals can do to make their energy choices more sustainable. As part of this effort, the city is undertaking a greenhouse gas emissions inventory and fleet inventory in partnership with Sustainable Jersey and the PSEG Institute for Sustainable Studies at Montclair State University. The city has also launched a new website: www.makeitgreen.org, which will house information about the City’s sustainability initiatives as well as educational information about sustainability issues such as energy.
The Year of Energy effort will be led by the city’s new Office of Sustainability, which is dedicated to finding ways to improve the sustainability of the city’s operations, raise public awareness of sustainable practices and issues relevant to Jersey City, and implement sustainable policies. The office will be working on areas such as water, energy, transit, and development that will improve the City’s long-term sustainability in environmental, economic, and social terms.
HCCC holds open house on April 14
Hudson County Community College will hold an Open House at the College’s North Hudson Campus, 4800 Kennedy Blvd. in Union City, on Saturday, April 14, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., with check-in beginning at 9:30 a.m. Attendees will be able to experience the Hudson County Community College campus culture and meet with the educators, students, and administrators.
Activities are planned to help acquaint prospective students with the college’s two campuses, academic programs, and the services and programs available to HCCC students. The April 14 Open House attendees will be able to obtain information on the College’s degree and certificate programs, including the acclaimed STEM, Nursing, Culinary Arts & Hospitality Management, Criminal Justice, Business, and other course offerings. Attendees may also tour the North Hudson Campus.
Additionally, representatives from the college’s award-winning student support services team will provide information on how the team assists HCCC students in reaching their academic and career goals.
More information may be obtained by emailing email@example.com. Those who wish to attend the April 14 Open House are encouraged to RSVP at www.hccc.edu/openhouse.
Fulop and legislators push for dedicated arts and culture fund
Mayor Steven M. Fulop, Senator Joe Cryan, Assemblywoman Angela V. McKnight, and Assemblyman Raj Mukherji have announced the introduction of a bill to both houses of the New Jersey Legislature which will allow municipalities to adopt an ordinance establishing an annual tax levy to be dedicated to local arts and culture funding, which would be deposited into an Arts and Culture Trust Fund. The proposed bill requires that the tax levy be approved by voters as a public question in a general or special election.
“We have worked to encourage the continued growth of our arts and culture community in Jersey City, and know that our city has become the unique and vibrant place it is today thanks to the work of local artists and art organizations,” said Mayor Fulop. “This bill will allow residents to choose whether they want to see a sustainable source for arts funding in Jersey City, so that we can continue to work with these organizations to bring art, music, dance, film and culture into all neighborhoods.”
The Arts and Culture Trust Fund bill is modeled after the Open Space Trust Fund bill that became law in New Jersey in 1997, allowing municipalities to adopt an ordinance through public question which would dedicate tax revenue to the preservation or creation of open space. In 2016, Mayor Steven Fulop and the Jersey City Council presented this option to voters in the form of a referendum, and received an overwhelming approval for the creation of this dedicated funding source. The Jersey City Open Space Trust Fund levies $0.005 per household per year, and has collected $623,000 in 2017.
Once the Arts and Culture Trust Fund bill becomes state law, Jersey City plans to place a public question on the ballot for Jersey City to have such a fund, this November.
Loews holds Kong-A-Thon
The Landmark Loew’s Jersey Theatre will present various versions of the classic King Kong movies.
On Saturday, April 28, at 2:30 p.m., will show the 2005 “King Kong” starring Naomi Watts, Jack Black and Adrien Brody.
At 6 p.m., the theater will present the 1976 version starring Jessica Lange, Charles Grodin & Jeff Bridges.
At 8:30 p.m., the 1933 version will be aired starring Fay Wray, Robert Armstrong & Bruce Cabot.
Loew’s is located at 54 Journal Square in Jersey City. For more information call (201) 798-6055 or go to www.loewsjersey.org. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
JC Families hosts spring festival on April 14
JC Families’ Spring Festival in Jersey City will be held on Saturday, April 14. For the second year in a row, this event will take place inside the beautiful and light-filled Harborside Atrium, close to the PATH train and Light Rail stops.
The festival runs from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Running at the same time and place is a baby fair.
There is a nominal entrance fee which covers both events: $2.00 per individual (all ages, babies to grandparents).
For more information email: email@example.com
Hudson County CASA is seeking volunteers
Learn how to become a CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocate) volunteer and help foster children find safe and permanent homes. The next information session will be held at Little City Books at 100 Bloomfield St. in Hoboken on Wednesday, April 18 at 7 p.m.
Hudson County Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) is a non-profit organization committed to advocating for the best interests of abused and neglected children. CASA works through trained community volunteers to ensure that needed services and assistance are made available to children while helping to move them toward safe and permanent homes. Hudson County CASA volunteers are everyday people who make a direct impact in foster children’s lives. They are trusted, dedicated adults who seek to improve children’s well-being. CASA volunteers get to know their assigned child and his or her circumstances and provide valuable information to the court. Judges rely on the volunteers’ recommendations to make the best decisions about the children’s futures.
For further information, visit www.hudsoncountycasa.org.