Historic stained glass windows featured in new book
The windows at St. Vincent de Paul Church in Bayonne are featured in a recently published book entitled “Strangest Genius: The Stained Glass of Harry Clarke.”
“You could look at a Clarke window time after time and still not see every beautiful detail. There is so much to captivate your attention,” said Church Historian Priscilla Ege. “The Church of Saint Vincent de Paul and the city of Bayonne are fortunate to have such art treasures. Costigan and Cullen have truly captured the genius of the artist in this compelling book.”
Before working in stained glass, Clarke was an illustrator for Edgar Allen Poe and Hans Christian Anderson as well as a fabric designer. His talents in these areas can be seen in his windows in the delicate intricate features of the figures and the clothing in which he dresses them. The windows are rich in color and symbolism. The faces are filled with emotion and expressiveness. The windows captivate the viewer.
In the late 1920s, Rev. Joseph Dolan commissioned Clarke, Ireland’s most famous stained glass artist, to design 40 windows for the newly constructed church. According to Costigan, “He was particularly delighted to receive his first American commission in 1928, for 40 windows for the Basilica of St. Vincent de Paul in Bayonne, New Jersey. Nine of these windows, depicting angels bearing symbols of the Mass, were completed under Clarke’s supervision.”
Clarke died in 1931 and the Clarke Studios continued to work on the remaining 31 windows up until the 1940s.
Clarke outlined the overall scheme for the church windows, which included the nine apse (dome) windows, the decorative circular rose window above the organ, the 14 two-light clerestory (upper) windows with emblems of the Passion, and 10 two-light aisle windows with figures representing the Old and New Law.
Last fall, Cullen, the photographer and co-author, flew over from Ireland at the invitation of Father James Manos to photograph the windows, which, because of Clarke’s untimely death, are the only windows in North America by the artist.
St. Vincent de Paul Church was designated a local landmark in 2008 and received a Certificate of Eligibility for state and national landmark status in 2009 (currently under review).
Changes in City Hall personnel
Bayonne’s City Hall was expected to announce changes in three key department directors this week. Unofficially confirmed, city officials said that Joseph Waks, one time aide to former state Senator and Mayor Joseph Doria as well as legislative aide to Rep. Bill Pascrell, will replace Jason O’Donnell as director of Municipal Services. O’Donnell, the new state assemblyman and a fire captain, will be named the new director of Public Safety, overseeing both the police and fire departments.
Before this, the city had a separate director for each department, although the fire director position has been vacant for several years. Until this appointment, Mayor Mark Smith served as police director.
Steve Gallo, who currently serves as chief of staff to Mayor Mark Smith and executive director to the Bayonne Municipal Utilities Authority, will replace Terrence Malloy as the city’s business administrator. Malloy will remain as the city’s chief finance officer.
Still going: Bayonne man survived Big Brother
After nearly four weeks, Bayonne insurance adjust Enzo Palumbo is still holding on in the CBS reality TV series “Big Brother 12,” although the only contact his wife and eight month old child have is by watching him on TV.
“Since he left in June, the only way we get to see him is if we turn on the TV or the live feed,” said his wife, Joella.
The new season’s show premiered on July 8, and Palumbo is vying for a $500,000 prize if he can be the last remaining house guest.
Local performer in two plays
Bayonne actor and playwright Chris Ferretti will be featured in an underground classic off-off Broadway play called “All About Walken,” which features a number of different Christopher Walken impersonators — men and women of all shapes, colors and sizes exploring the life and career of the beloved actor.
“This is one of the funniest damn things I've ever been a part of ,” Ferretti said.
The play, created by Patrick O’Sullivan, will be performed on August 5 to the 8, and 12 to the 15. Time for Thursday through Saturday performances is at 8 p.m., and performances on Sundays begin at 3 p.m. at St. Marks, 94 St. Marks Place in New York City (between First Avenue and Avenue A). Tickets are $20 at www.smarttix.com or call (212) 868-4444.
Ferretti is also in his own play. “The Session” will be performed at the Theatre at St. Clement’s at 434 W. 46th Street between 9th and 10th avenues on Aug. 13, 16, and 20 at 7 p.m.
Legislation would increase public reporting for profit-making hospitals
A bill sponsored by Senate Health, Human Services and Senior Citizens Committee Chairwoman Loretta Weinberg and Senator Sandra Bolden Cunningham that would require privately-owned hospitals to report more financial information to the public was approved by the health committee yesterday by a vote of 7-0, with one abstention.
“With the high cost of health care, hospitals should give health care consumers a full accounting of where their health care dollars go,” said Cunningham. “Whether the facility in question is for-profit, not-for-profit or state funded, people seeking to get a better look at the finances of their hospital have a right to do so. This bill reaffirms those rights for for-profit facilities, which have historically not been held to the same tough reporting standards as other hospitals in the state.”
The bill, S-1468, would require that for-profit hospitals be subject to increased reporting requirements through their filings with the State Department of Health and Senior Services and through their local health departments of each municipality in which the hospital operates a facility.
The bill would also require hospitals to post certain financial information on their Web site, including audited financial statements for the past three years; unaudited statements for the current year; a list of payments for goods or services, including leases and rentals; a list of all compensation, including salaries, benefits, bonuses and deferred compensation, paid to each board member and officer of the hospital; whether the owners of the hospital maintain a business entity outside the United States that does business with the hospital; a list of any properties for which the hospital has claimed a tax abatement; a description of major facility expansion projects at the hospital; and if the hospital had surplus revenues for the prior fiscal year, the total amount that would be used for debt retirement, facility expansion, or a reserve for operating contingencies.
Sires votes to fund education, summer jobs, and border security
Rep. Albio Sires voted last week to fund pressing domestic needs, such as summer job programs for youth, education, and border security, as well as relief efforts abroad. The 2010 Supplemental Appropriations Act, which the House of Representatives passed on July 1, would, among other measures, provide $10 billion for an Education Jobs Fund, $180 million for innovative technology energy loans, and grant over $600 million for other domestic needs in discretionary appropriations.
“This bill is a smart, flexible response to of our nation’s most immediate needs,” said Sires. “I am also pleased that this bill includes forward-looking measures to fund our future, like innovative technology energy loans.”
In addition, this spending measure would provide $83 million for unemployment assistance related to the Gulf oil spill and an oil spill relief emergency program. To prevent impending layoffs and increase access to college, this legislation provides emergency support to local school districts through the Education Jobs Fund and provides $4.95 billion for the Pell Grant Program. This bill also provides $701 for the president’s plan for increased enforcement along the southern border, $5.1 billion for the FEMA Disaster Relief Fund, and $50 million for the Emergency Food Assistance Program.
As part of the passage of the 2010 Supplemental Appropriations Act, the House of Representatives passed a budget enforcement resolution for fiscal year 2011. This resolution sets an overall limit on discretionary spending in next year's appropriations bills, sets the goal of returning the budget to primary balance by 2015, and reinforces the House’s commitment to pay-as-you-go (PAYGO) principles.