In a move many anticipated, Mark Albiez, chief of staff to Mayor Steven Fulop, will leave for the private sector at the end of August.
“I’m excited,” he said last week. “This was a positive move.”
Albiez, 37, will take a position at Verona-based Fairview Insurance owned by Ryan Graham, a prominent fundraiser for many Hudson County elected officials.
Any employee of Jersey City since 2014, Albiez previously worked for state Senator and Union City Mayor Brian Stack and prior to that, for then Jersey City Assemblyman Louis Manzo.
Although presented as a positive move, Albiez’s exit was expected, since he is considered by many as the architect of the plan to unseat Hudson County Executive Tom DeGise and the failed attempt by Stack to become chair of the Hudson County Democratic Organization.
Court gives city more time to verify Katyn petition signatures
Jersey City has been unable to meet the five-day required period to verify signatures submitted by those seeking to force a public vote on whether or not to move the Katyn Memorial from Exchange Place, so the city has requested and won an extension.
On Aug. 6, Judge Mary K. Costello gave the city clerk’s office until Aug. 13 to decide whether the resubmitted petition has enough signatures to require the question to be put on the ballot in November.
The City Council adopted an ordinance in June that moves the statue from its current location to a new location. Using a provision in state law, opponents gathered signatures to force the council to withdraw the ordinance or send the question to the public ballot.
In July, the city clerk rejected most of the signatures originally submitted, saying they failed to come up with 6,714 valid signatures from Jersey City voters.
The petitioners were allowed time to correct the deficiency and submitted an additional 5,000 signatures which the clerk has to check.
The court also said the matter could come up before the council at its September meeting, rather than on Aug. 13 as would have been required under the original state mandate.
Local governments get HUD grants
Hoboken, Bayonne, Union City, North Bergen and Hudson County will all get a piece of the $28,106,756 in newly-announced grants from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD) Community Planning and Development (CPD) Program to revitalize struggling communities, according to U.S. Senators Robert Menendez and Cory Booker.
“Revitalizing New Jersey’s struggling communities takes a comprehensive approach that recognizes the importance of safe, affordable housing, economic opportunity and the services individuals and families need to overcome obstacles and secure their future,” said Sen. Menendez, the ranking member of the Senate Subcommittee on Housing, Transportation, and Community Development. “That’s why I’ve always fought for the resources our local communities need to transform their visions into reality.”
The CPD Program consists of five specific grant opportunities: the Community Development Block (CDBG) Grant, the Emergency Solutions Grant (ESG), the HOME Investment Partnership (HOME), the Housing Opportunities for Persons with AIDS (HOPWA) program, and the Housing Trust Fund (HTF).
Bayonne will receive $1,532,909; Hoboken, $1,075,286; North Bergen, $636,830; Union City, $1,003,951, while Hudson County received several grants totaling about $5 million.
City selects consultant for museum project
The Jersey City Redevelopment Agency has selected a consultant team to lead the development of the new Jersey City Museum in Journal Square. The museum, which will be located inside of the Pathside Building adjacent to the PATH station, plans to bring together a variety of art forms and community activities to further enhance creative interest in Journal Square. The JCRA, which purchased the building earlier this year from Hudson County Community College, has selected the international firms OMA/AMO and AEA to serve as the architectural and creative consultants.
OMA will serve as the team’s architecture firm, AMO as their in-house research and design studio, and AEA as a consulting partner who has specialized in strategy and planning for the culture and creative industry. The five-story, 55,000 square foot building at 25 Sip Ave. will focus on the visual arts with part of the building reserved for local artists.
Rat Ball scheduled for Aug. 25
What if rats appropriated the aesthetics of late capitalist wealth?
The Rat Ball, billed as an evening of rat revelry, will feature rat jazz with David Zaks, a “ratfle,” and a photo booth, all within a curated environment replete with 2D artworks and sculpture by masters of ceremony Sam Pullin and Noah Tavlin.
Recommended attire is Rat Formal.
At the Rat Ball, Pullin and Tavlin will invite their guests to consider the rat as a way of exploring their individual relationships to urban life and labor in a late capitalist city and appreciate “the rats they’ve become” as a result of their social and material conditions. At the Rat Ball, in a flurry of bright lights, music, and excitement, the rats break free from the maze for one magical evening.
The event will take place on Saturday, Aug. 25 from 7 to 10 p.m. at the Smush Gallery, 340 Summit Ave. in Jersey City. For more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Fundraiser for immigration rights group
The groups Growing in Jersey City and Crystal Letters will host an open mic night to raise funds for First Friends of NJ & NY at Froth on Franklin, 85 Franklin St. between Sherman and Webster avenues in the JC Heights, on Aug. 21.
First come, first to perform. Sign up is at 7 p.m. and open mic starts at 7:30 p.m. Each act will get five minutes.
Open to all types of performers in an acoustic setting – music, readings, poems, spoken word, singing, etc.
Kennedy Dancers celebrate World Cat Day
Although World Cat Day is on Aug. 8, the Kennedy Dancers will hold their tribute to cats on Sept. 11 from 7:15 to 8 p.m., introducing Yoga for Cat Lovers at its studio at 79 Central Ave.
The class will be held every Tuesday evening at the same time. The class will be taught by Amanda Levie, and is open to all cat lovers.
The fee is $25 for drop-ins, or you can pay $65 monthly for as many adult fitness and dance classes as you can fit into your schedule.
For more information regarding The Kennedy Dancers, Inc., or any classes, please contact Diane Dragone, Executive & Artistic Director, at (201) 659-2190, or by email at email@example.com.
Newport half marathon scheduled for Sept. 16
The 25th Annual Ruth’s Chris Steak House Newport Liberty Half Marathon is taking place on Sunday, Sept. 16 in Newport section of Jersey City.
The Newport Liberty Half Marathon’s USATF-certified course takes runners along the Hudson River Waterfront Walkway and across to Liberty State Park, showcasing views of the Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island, the Verrazano Narrows Bridge, and the stunning Manhattan skyline.
Steven Fulop, mayor of Jersey City, will be in attendance to kick off the race, cheer on runners, and support this long-standing Newport tradition. A post-race celebration will be held at Newport Town Square with plenty of refreshments, music, and drawings for a host of exciting prizes.
Approximately 3,000 runners participated in the half marathon last year. $3,000 in award money will be offered to winning runners and teams in specific USATF-NJ categories, and proceeds from the race will be donated to Jersey City Medical Center – RWJ Barnabas Health, the area’s only not-for-profit hospital and the regional trauma center. For more information, please visit newporthalfmarathon.com.