Hoboken to recognize centennial of America’s entry into WWI

On Thursday, April 6, a ceremony will be held at noon at the World War I memorial on Pier A Park to commemorate the 100th anniversary of America’s entry into World War I with its declaration of war on Germany.

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Participants will include Freeholder Anthony Romano, Mayor Dawn Zimmer, Hoboken Museum Director Bob Foster, the Hudson County Sheriff’s Color Guard, Hoboken High School’s band and chorus, and veterans Jack O’Brien and Vinnie Wassman.

O’Brien, a veteran of WWII and the son of a WWI veteran, will play patriotic tunes on a fife and Wassman, who served in both WWII and the Korean War, will recite John McCrae’s “In Flanders Fields.”

Hudson County was the site of one of the most visible government actions after declaring war on Germany on April 6, 1917, when the government seized the German-owned shipping piers in Hoboken and converted them into the main port of embarkation for the US Expeditionary Forces.

Between spring 1917 and fall 1918, two million American servicemen passed through Hoboken on their way to and from Europe.

The Hoboken Historical Museum has been marking the centennial with a lecture series and a newly launched reading discussion group. The group is reading a collection of writings about and from the WWI period, and will gather for its first discussion at the Hoboken Historical Museum, 1301 Hudson St., at 5:30 pm on Sunday, April 23. Preceding the discussion will be a lecture at 4 p.m. presented by WWI author Steven H. Jaffe who wrote “A Seaport at War with Itself: Germans, Irish, Jews, Italians and African Americans in Wartime Greater New York.”

For more information go to www.hobokenmuseum.org.

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. You may attend an information session at the Hudson County Courthouse, 595 Newark Ave. Room 901 on Tuesday, April 4 at 6:30 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

Climate control meeting announced

Hoboken Climate Mobilization invites the public to an informational session on Monday April 17 at the Hoboken Public Library at 500 Park Ave. from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.

The public discussion is open to Jersey City and Hoboken residents and will cover topics including how residents can help advance renewable energy which could create new jobs, improve the economy, and “protect the future for our children,” as well as how to promote sustainability efforts locally.

The discussion will also include a brief slideshow and invites residents to “come if you’re interested in learning about climate change, easy steps you can take as a citizen, meeting some like minded people.”

Hoboken’s legendary Maxwell’s Tavern for sale

Maxwell’s Tavern, the bar, restaurant, and live music venue located on the corner of 11th and Washington streets, is back on the market, according to a report on Billboard linking to a for-sale ad.

In 2014, it was sold to current owners Evan Dean and Pete Carr, according to reports. The restaurant is listed online at BizBuySell.com with an asking price of $1.3 million.

According to the listing, the venue is a “Nationally Recognized Turnkey Bar/ Restaurant with a “33” plenary liquor license included in sale. Completely renovated with brand new equipment and fixtures.” The business additionally “has state of the art live music facilities with two full service operating bars including 30 taps. Prime corner location with unbelievable visibility on Washington Street. Incredible Opportunity. Will Not Last!”

The Washington Street venue once hosted famous artists including Nirvana, Yo Lo Tengo, REM, and the Red Hot Chili Peppers among many others.

In 1985, Bruce Springsteen used Maxwell’s in the “Glory Days” music video.

Hoboken’s annual Irish Festival announced

Mayor Dawn Zimmer, The City of Hoboken, and Irish Network New Jersey will host the 6th Annual Hoboken Irish Festival on Saturday, May 13 from 12 p.m. to 6 p.m. at Sinatra Park.

The festival will include performances, vendors, an Irish soda bread contest, and children’s activities.

Performers include: Gold N’ Brown, Colin Nisbet, Garden St. Irish Step Dancers & Emerald Fire, Kerri Smith Academy of Irish Dance and more.

This year children can also enjoy pony rides, a petting zoo, face painting, a moonwalk, and an inflatable obstacle course.

For adults over the age of 21 there will also be a beer garden sponsored by Finnegan’s Pub.

For more information, to compete in the soda bread contest, or if you are interested in being a vendor contact Geri Fallo at (201) 420-2207 or gfallo@hobokennj.gov.

Annual Gratitude Gala will be April 6

Ss. Peter and Paul Church will host its annual Gratitude Gala on Thursday April 6 at 6:30 p.m. at the Chart House in Weehawken.

The gala will include cocktails and hors d’oeuvres, dinner, live music, and a live and silent auction.

The Gratitude Gala will honor Hoboken residents and Hoboken business owners, including Grace and John Sciancalepore, Joyce and Eugene Flinn, and Lucille Casulli.

“A portion of the proceeds will benefit the Ss Peter and Paul Legacy Fund and a needy family in our community,” according to the gala website.

“We are pleased to honor incredible people for their service to our community,” said Karen Imbach, director of administration and stewardship for the church. “We look forward to a night of community and fellowship.”

For more information or to purchase tickets go to www.spphoboken.com/contents/parish/gratitude-gala-2017.php

Redevelopment plan for waterfront hotel will be introduced at council meeting

The city of Hoboken will introduce a redevelopment plan for the Hoboken Post Office Rehabilitation Area that includes a new hotel and improvements to waterfront access and connectivity during the city council meeting on April 5. 

The plan “would redevelop the underutilized parking lot behind the post office as a hotel with unique architecture while preserving the Hoboken Post Office as an important landmark,” according to a media release. “It would also require the redesign and reconstruction of Newark Street with wide sidewalks and streetscape features to improve connectivity to the waterfront and would activate the block of Sinatra Drive between Newark Street and First Street.”

It is estimated that the plan would create more than 100 permanent jobs and generate over $1 million annually in real estate taxes in addition to hotel taxes on a site that is currently exempt from taxes.

The Hoboken 2004 Master Plan encourages the creation of hotels in the area near Hoboken Terminal to “provide a needed service for residents, businesses, and visitors.”

Setback requirements for the hotel, which must use high quality design materials and architecture, are designed to narrow the building to maximize light, air, and open space and minimize shadows on Pier A Park.

The implementation of the plan would terminate the existing easement with the post office which provides angled parking for post office vehicles along Newark Street where there currently is no sidewalk. All post office and hotel loading activities would be moved to First Street and take place inside of a building, and the hotel would be required to have lease agreements with private parking garages.

“With the W Hotel often fully booked, there is a clear need for more hotel space for our families, friends, and everyone who visits Hoboken,” said Mayor Dawn Zimmer. “This world-class hotel would improve pedestrian and bicycle connectivity to our waterfront, replace an eyesore with a vibrant, active streetscape with public amenities, and also provide much-needed meeting and event space for our community.”

The Post Office Redevelopment Plan is available online at: www.hobokennj.gov/docs/communitydev/Post-Office-Redev-Plan-2017-03-27.pdf.

Currently KMS Development partners has proposed a Hilton Hotel for the space. 

For more information on there proposal go to HobokenWaterfrontHotel.com or look at our past articles. 

Congratulations to Hoboken residents on honor roll

James C. DeAngelo, ’85, Principal of Saint Peter’s Prep in Jersey City, has announced that the following Hoboken residents earned honor roll status and other academic awards for the third marking period of 2016-2017.

First Honors went to Nathan Blumenfeld, ’19 and Nicholas Iniashvili, ’19.

Second Honors when to Jason Davidoff, ’18, Sebastian Haas, ’18, Justinian Aurora, ’19, Christian Cunningham, ’19, Griffen Haas, ’19, and Shepard Swift, ’20.

And  Justin Montanez, ’17, Connor Chapman, ’20, and Zack Oswald, ’20 earned an honorable mention.

First Honors is awarded to students with an average of A or higher (4.0) and no grade lower than a C.  Second Honors is awarded to students with an average at or above the midpoint between A and B+ (3.7) and no grade lower than a C.  Honorable Mention is awarded to students with an average of B+ or higher (3.5) and no grade lower than a C.

Application for community garden plots announced

Hoboken residents are invited to apply for the waiting list for community garden plots at three locations throughout the city.

The online waiting list application is available at: https://hoboken.seamlessdocs.com/f/communitygardenwaitlist.

Garden plots currently exist at the community garden at Third and Jackson Streets and behind City Hall.

An additional 30 community garden plots are planned for this summer as part of the temporary Northwest Pop-Up park located at 1201 Madison Street.

Community garden space is limited and will be available to Hoboken residents on a first-come, first-served basis.

A maximum of one plot will be provided per household for a two-year period, after which the gardener may choose to reapply to the wait list.

Priority at the 3rd & Jackson Community Garden will be given to Hoboken Housing Authority residents.

Priority at all community gardens will be given to current gardeners, followed by those on the wait list.

The City already has a substantial wait list for the 3rd & Jackson Community Garden. One City Hall plot is reserved for a community group.

When a plot becomes available, the community garden administrator will contact the next resident on the wait list, and the resident will have three business days to complete the community garden agreement.

Aetna may split from Jersey City Medical Center

The contract between RWJBarnabas Health, which includes Jersey City Medical Center, and insurance carrier Aetna will expire April 22, according to the March 17 letter the company sent to its subscribers who had been treated at a Barnabas hospital in the past year. 

The disagreement is over reimbursement rates, Aetna spokesman Walter Cherniak Jr. said Monday, as reported in NJ Advance Media.

Aetna is the second-largest health insurance company in New Jersey. The carrier notified 45,000 policy holders that contract negotiations will have to improve soon with Barnabas, the state’s largest hospital network, or else patients will have to pay more expensive out-of-network rates or select another hospital.

Cherniak claimed that RWJBarnabas, which is affiliated with 11 acute care hospitals, wants “a significant rate increase we do not believe can be supported in the market.” 

Cherniak said the 1,267 doctors who hold admitting privileges exclusively at RWJBarnabas hospitals are also affected. Patients requiring hospital care would have to find another doctor if their physicians could not quickly obtain admitting privileges at other hospitals.

RWJ Barnabas Health’s spokeswoman Ellen Greene, called Cherniak’s letter a ”routine communication that HMOs and insurers must send to participants 30 days before the contract expires.”

“RWJBarnabas Health and Aetna continue to negotiate with the desire to create a new contractual agreement,” Greene’s statement said. “It is our goal and expectation that a new agreement will be reached with Aetna before our current contract expires on April 22. Aetna patients can still receive services at all RWJBarnabas Health facilities as contract negotiations continue.”

Aetna and Barnabas Health reached an impasse over contract negotiations two years ago, but the two sides reached a deal three days before the contract expired.

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