Three Easter egg hunts are planned Saturday for children in the area. (see brief below)
Three Easter egg hunts are planned Saturday for children in the area. (see brief below)

Hoboken terminal suffers overcrowding in wake of Penn Station derailment

Hoboken Terminal has been very overcrowded the last few days, as passengers leaving New Jersey Transit trains pushed through crowds to make their way to PATH trains, buses, and ferries to Manhattan for work.

At approximately 9 a.m. Monday morning, NJ TRANSIT’s Northeast Corridor line train experienced a slow-speed derailment on Amtrak’s rail while pulling in to Track 9 at New York’s Penn Station. Three cars in the middle of the 10-car train derailed. As a result NJ Transit has offered cross honoring for ferries, buses, light rail, and PATH trains.

Gov. Chris Christie published a letter in the New York Time on Thursday to Amtrak’s chairman, saying he directed NJ Transit to withhold the maintenance fee they pay to Amtrak to use the lines until an independent inspection verifies Amtrak’s Northeast Corridor is in good working condition.

The governor also said he’s asked the attorney general to consider filing a lawsuit to recover money that NJ Transit pays to use Amtrak’s rail line. Last year NJ Transit paid Amtrak $62 million for maintenance and upgrades.

Christie also called for hearings to hold Amtrak accountable for the derailment, in letters to Senators Bob Menendez and Cory Booker, House transportation committee members Frank LoBiondo and Albio Sires, and House Appropriations Committee Chairman Rodney Frelinghuysen.

Hoboken Easter egg hunts this Saturday

Hoboken Grace was scheduled to host its seventh annual free Easter Egg Hunt on Saturday, April 8 at Mama Johnson Field, Fourth and Jackson streets, in Hoboken. The largest Easter egg hunt in Hoboken will feature two hunts, 30,000 candy-stuffed eggs, music, games, pictures with the Easter Bunny, facepainting, and arts and crafts. More than 5,000 people are expected to attend.

This year, registration is required to participate. Children from tots to age 12 can register to take part in one of the two hunts at hobokengrace.com. The event is completely free for everyone.

The first hunt is from 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. with the hunt beginning promptly at 11 a.m., and the second hunt is from 1 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. with the hunt beginning promptly at 2 p.m.

Following this year’s event, pictures with the Easter Bunny will be posted at www.hobokengrace.com/bunny.

This Easter, Hoboken Grace, at 301 Garden St., offers numerous special Easter Services: Good Friday, April 14, 6 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.; Easter Celebration Saturday, April 15, 5 p.m.; and Easter Celebration Sunday Services, April 16, at 8:30 a.m., 10 a.m., 11:30 a.m., and 1 p.m.

Meanwhile, the Hoboken Family Alliance will also running a hunt, this one uptown at Columbus Park on Saturday morning from 10 a.m. and 12 p.m. Registration is not required but a $5 donation is suggested.

Hoboken ‘Photographers Unknown’ exhibit features phone photography

How do Hudson County residents capture the flow of life around them if something picturesque happens in an instant and they don’t have a camera handy? By grabbing for their phones.

A new exhibit at Hoboken’s hob’art gallery, the only cooperative art gallery in the mile-square city, will feature 11 area residents with their best photos of life around them, taken with their phones.

A reception will be held this Saturday night, April 8, 6 to 8 p.m. in the gallery.

The exhibit started this Friday, April 7, and runs through Saturday, April 29.

Artists include Kevin Delaney, Emma Lamperti, Freeman, Michael Mele, Lily Zane, Steve Zane, Caren Lissner, Keith Manyin, Cassie Murray, Amanda Norton, J. Picard, Kathy Rowlett, Brenda Torres, David White, and Liz Cohen.

The gallery is located at 720 Monroe St., E 208. The website is www.HOB-ART.org. Gallery hours are Thursday and Friday from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. or by appointment, 201-319-1504.

Shade tree commission scheduled to give away thousands of trees

The Hoboken Shade Tree Commission was scheduled to give away 2,500 small trees to Hoboken residents on Saturday April 8. The trees are suitable for backyards and large pots but are currently too small as street trees.

The trees will be available for pickup from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Hoboken Public Works Garage located on Willow Avenue between Observer Highway and Newark Street.

The free saplings event will give away several tress species including Black Cherry, Black Gum, Persimon, Sycamore, Chestnut, Northern Red Oak, Swamp White Oak, White Oak, Norway Spruce, Eastern White Pine, Red Maple, and Scarlet Oak.

There will also be organic compost available for sale sold by Hudson Soil Company

Finished compost is environmentally produced on farms in the Hudson Valley by the Community Compost Company.

Preliminary application for Hoboken’s affordable housing now available

Hoboken has announced the availability of the preliminary application for the affordable housing waiting list for all rental units regulated by the city.

Members of the public can submit a preliminary application by visiting www.AffordableHomesNewJersey.com/Hoboken. Applicants without internet access may call (609) 664-2769 X5.

The deadline to submit applications for the random drawing to generate the affordable housing waiting list is May 8.

This list will be used to lease five units at 600 Harrison St., four units at 1410 Grand, six units at  721 Clinton St., and 42 units at Seventh Street and Jackson Street and additional future units.  Some units will be available as early as Spring 2017, and others will be available in upcoming years depending on the construction schedule.

The Affordable Housing Program will provide opportunities for both affordable units for rent and for sale.

The first units that will become available are at 600 Harrison St. Monthly rents for the units, not including utilities, are $600 for the one available low income one bedroom unit, $903 for the three available low income two bedroom units, and $1,035 for the three bedroom moderate income unit.

Even those who are not interested in these units should submit the preliminary application by May 8 to be considered for upcoming and future affordable housing rentals.

The rents for future units may be higher or lower based on income levels and number of bedrooms. The waiting list is only for rental units regulated by the city and there may be other affordable housing opportunities that must be applied for separately.

The city recently adopted the Affirmative Fair Housing Marketing Plan and a guidebook entitled “Administration of Affordable Units: Policies & Procedures Manual” to set forth the policies and procedures for placing eligible individuals and families into Hoboken’s affordable units.

Additional information including income limits is available on www.AffordableHomesNewJersey.com/Hoboken.

World War I centennial commemoration postponed

Due to heavy rain, the county and city moved the WWI Centennial Commemoration to Wednesday, April 26, at noon with a rain date of April 27.

The ceremony will take place at the WWI memorial boulder at Pier A Park, by Sinatra Drive and First Street. 

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

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 moved to seize the German-owned shipping piers in Hoboken and convert them into the main port of embarkation for the US Expeditionary Forces. About 2 million troops passed through Hoboken on their way to fight the Germans, while German-Americans, who made up 26 percent of Hoboken’s population, were forced to register as “enemy aliens,” many losing jobs, businesses, and homes in the process. 

The Hoboken Museum is also hosting a WWI lecture series and reading discussion group, and will open an exhibit focused on WWI and New Jersey on Aug. 6, which will remain on view through the end of the year.

Hudson County to apply for $1 million grant for Hoboken

According to a press release from the county, the Hudson County Board of Freeholders approved the county to apply for and accept a $1,000,000 grant, if awarded, from the New Jersey Department of Transportation for the reconstruction of Sinatra Drive North 14th Street Extension Bridge in Hoboken.

These funds if allocated will come from the 2017 local bridge Future Needs Program.

“Hudson County Freeholder Chairman Anthony Vainieri, Freeholder Anthony L. Romano and the Board of Chosen Freeholders are committed in their resolve in providing the necessary resources needed to reconstruct, improve, and repair the Sinatra Drive North 14th Street Extension Bridge in Hoboken,” stated the release.

CarePoint Health hospitals recognized

Jersey Magazine and Castle Connolly Group recently named all of the CarePoint Health hospitals among the top ten in the state of New Jersey, according to a press release from CarePoint.

“CarePoint Health is the only system in Hudson County to have all of its hospitals named among the top ten in the state,” said the release.

 CarePoint Health-Bayonne Medical Center was named number two overall in the state among hospitals with fewer than 350 beds and CarePoint Health-Hoboken University Medical Center was named number six in that category. CarePoint Health-Christ Hospital was named number eight among hospitals with more than 350 beds.

 ”We are extremely proud that all CarePoint Health hospitals have been awarded such prestigious honors,” said Jeff Mandler, CEO of CarePoint Health. “We take great pride in providing excellence in healthcare, and to have all of our hospitals named among the top ten in New Jersey illustrates our commitment to providing the best care in the region.”

“These rankings confirm what we see every day in the hospitals—that our physicians put the needs of their patients first and are committed to high quality, coordinated care,” said CarePoint Health Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Nizar Kifaieh. “This recognition is particularly meaningful as it comes from our peers in the physician community.”

CarePoint Health hospitals were also recognized as leaders in the treatment of breast cancer (Bayonne, Christ, Hoboken), prostate cancer (Bayonne, Christ, Hoboken), congestive heart failure (Bayonne, Christ, Hoboken), strokes (Christ, Hoboken), neurological disorders (Hoboken), and hip and knee repairs (Hoboken).

CarePoint Health-Bayonne Medical Center was rated No. 1 in the state for treatment of breast cancer, prostate cancer, and congestive heart failure.

Doctors were invited, directly and through a variety of means, to participate in an online survey that ran November to December 2016. More than 3,000 doctors throughout the state were reached by email and fax, including Castle Connolly-rated top doctors and physicians who participated in the online survey for Inside Jersey’s Top Hospitals 2016 feature.

Bodies in Weehawken Cove identified

Two bodies found Tuesday morning in the Hudson River near the city’s border with Weehawken have been identified as Ali Harb, 41, of West New York and 35 year-old Juan Bustamonte of Union City, according to a press release from the Hudson County Prosecutor’s Office. Both were both pronounced dead at 10:45 a.m.

According to the release, officers from the Hoboken and Weehawken Police Departments responded to a 911 call at approximately 8 a.m. of a body floating in the water in the Weehawken Cove in Hoboken. At approximately 9 a.m. the WPD indicated that a second body was found a short distance from the first.

“Both the bodies appeared to be male and lifeless,” said the release. “They were removed from the water, secured, and tentatively identified by the Hoboken fire department.” 

According to NJ.com the two both attended Memorial High School, where Harb was captain of the football team his senior year, and that Bustamonte “was quiet, reserved, and helpful” in school.

Harb’s sister has started a GoFundMe account to help pay for his funeral. As of Thursday evening, it had already garnered $21,685, shooting past its $20,000 goal. According to it, he leaves behind two sons and a wife.

According to the release from the HCPO, the investigation is ongoing, the deaths do not appear to be suspicious, and the public should not be concerned.

The cause of death is still unknown pending the results of the medical examiners examination.

Anyone with information is asked to contact the prosecutor’s office at (201) 915-1345 or leave an anonymous tip at http://www.hudsoncountyprosecutorsofficenj.org/homicide-tip/.