HOBOKEN BRIEFS

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HOBOKEN BRIEFS
Stevens Institute of Technology wished its graduating class of 2017 good luck and farewell on Wednesday May 24. Graduates stopped and posed with local crossing guard who helped them get to the ceremony.

Councilman Michael DeFusco announces Hoboken mayoral run

First Ward Councilman Michael DeFusco announced last week via an online video that he will run for mayor of Hoboken in the Nov. 7 municipal election.

DeFusco cited Mayor Dawn Zimmer’s inability to deliver on long-stated intentions during her nearly nine years in office as his reason for running.

Zimmer has also announced her mayoral run, as has local businesswoman Karen Nason.

In the video, DeFusco calls for upgraded city services and more proactive planning by the administration.

“I know we can be better, faster and more efficient in responding to the critical issues our community faces, and I believe it’s time for a change,” DeFusco said, referencing the town’s issues with flooding, potholes, and water main breaks, which have plagued Hoboken residents. “These issues and many others have largely gone unsolved by our long-time Mayor Dawn Zimmer, who in November will seek re-election to a third term, asking voters to extend her time in office to more than 13 years. Although Dawn’s intentions are good, if you do what you’ve always done, you’ll get what you’ve always gotten.

“When I first ran for elected office, it was to infuse new ideas into a stale political culture and engage every resident who would listen,” DeFusco said. ”As your councilman, I can only effect so much change. As your mayor, I know that we can use every voice to turn the political divide of the past into a unified and progressive future. I’m so excited to continue this journey with you and look forward to knocking on every door and listening to every resident to ensure that we respect the past but look toward the future.”

The video can be seen at https://www.mikedefusco.com/

Stevens’ $20 million donor allegedly assaulted reporter

Newly-elected Montana Republican congressman and recent Stevens Institute of Technology donor Greg Gianforte made the news on Wednesday when he was accused of body-slamming a reporter who was covering him. He has been charged with misdemeanor assault.

In December, Gianforte, an alumnus of Stevens, donated $10 million (totaling his current donations to the school at $20 million) for the new Gianforte Academic Center, a state-of-the-art interdisciplinary educational and research facility dedicated to technological innovation.

The Gianforte Academic Center is slated to add 17 smart classrooms, six advanced labs and 45 faculty offices, plus house the Department of Computer Science, and an array of laboratories in healthcare technology, including the Semcer Tissue Engineering Lab, a Digital Learning Lab, and the Prototyping Manufacturing Facility.

Since the donation, students have circulated a petition against naming the building for Gianforte, who they say has been a vocal critic of gay rights and a supporter of creationism.

Stevens responded to the incident and provided the following statement:

“The incident as reported in recent news involving Mr. Gianforte was both regrettable and disappointing. Stevens Institute of Technology has no direct knowledge about the incident beyond what has been reported and, as both a matter of principle and its status as a 501(c)3 tax-exempt organization, Stevens does not take a position or offer comment on matters related to political campaigns. It is unfortunate that the University has been drawn into a political incident that has nothing to do with Stevens. Mr. Gianforte’s gift to Stevens will support a state-of-the-art academic facility that will advance health care and medicine, computer science, cyber security, and other education and research programs that directly benefit people and society. The work that will go on in this facility will have a positive impact on many generations of students, faculty, and researchers.”

Trains will be rerouted to Hoboken starting July 10

In a notice to customers, NJ Transit has announced an adjusted travel plan for commuters to and from Penn Station as Amtrak repairs tracks from July 10 to Sept. 1.

Riders of the Midtown Direct trains on the Morristown Line will be diverted to Hoboken as will the Midtown Direct trains on the Gladstone Branch.

According to the notice, “NJ Transit rail customers have been forced to deal with delays, derailments, and unreliable service because Amtrak, which owns the tracks our service relies upon, has neglected the maintenance of its critical infrastructure for years. For three-quarters of NJ TRANSIT rail customers travel patterns will not be modified, including the Trenton to New York Northeast Corridor Line. However, delays on all rail lines, except for the Atlantic City Rail line, are inevitable.”

The notice states the repairs are “long overdue” and the work will “significantly disrupt travel this summer for customers who normally travel on the Morris & Essex Midtown Direct service to and from Penn Station New York.”

NJ Transit will offer commuters on that line “about a 50 percent discount off the regular Hoboken ticket cost, in addition to cross-honoring with ferry and PATH service at Hoboken Terminal.”

This means a customer who currently purchases a Gladstone to New York monthly pass pays $451 but during the Amtrak repair work Gladstone customers will pay $168 – 63 percent less.

During a press conference on Tuesday, Gov. Chris Christie said this would mean a loss of about $15 million in revenue to New Jersey.

“I’m not happy about any of this, but the fact of the matter is, we’re gonna either make these repairs now or make them later,” he said. “But the repairs need to be made.”

Sixth Annual Green Fair announced

The Hoboken Green Team will host the Sixth Annual Green Fair on Saturday, June 3.

The fair will be held from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Church Square Park and will feature live music and organic food vendors.

It is intended to introduce sustainable lifestyle choices to the community, raise awareness regarding environmental issues, and demonstrate how consumers can reduce their impact on the earth by selecting sustainable, eco-friendly products and services.

The Hoboken Green Team will give away free reusable shopping bags to the first 1,000 Hoboken residents who attend.

A free yoga class will be offered at 12 p.m. at the northwest corner of Church Square Park and Mayor Dawn Zimmer will recognize more than 20 local retailers, restaurants, and other companies as Hoboken Green Businesses at 1 p.m. at the gazebo.

Green businesses or non-profits whose mission aligns with environmental sustainability are invited to participate in the Green Fair.

The Green Team is also reaching out to involve the local arts community.

Interested vendors can submit the online registration form at www.hobokennj.gov/greenfair and contact Jennifer Gonzalez at jgonzalez@hobokennj.gov with any questions. The final day to register is Tuesday, May 30.

Hoboken Public Education Foundation Gala raises $120,000

The Hoboken Public Education Foundation raised more than $120,000 at its 2017 Gala for local public schools.

The foundation will use 100 percent of the proceeds to deliver a range of innovative and meaningful programs across the district.

The brainchild of local public school parents, Jackie Dowd Prince, Erica Gavin, and Shirael Pollack, the Hoboken Pubic Education Foundation has raised more than $220,000 since its inception in August 2015.

The gala had over 250 attendees and sold out in less than a week and offered an auction and raffle for a range of products and experiences.

“We are thrilled to have exceeded our targets and to have raised more than $120,000 at this year’s gala for Hoboken public schools,” said Co-Founder and President Shirael Pollack. “Support from these fantastic organizations, donations, and event attendance is imperative to us preserving and improving the public education experience for the students of Hoboken.”

The foundation will work with Superintendent Dr. Christine Johnson to identify innovative opportunities for the funds raised in the areas of experiential learning, essential technology, enhanced facilities, and continued improvement of Hoboken’s public schools.

Individuals and organizations wanting to support the Hoboken Public Education Foundation can contact them at hobokenpef@gmail.com

Stevens Institute of Technology to provide tennis court access to Hoboken residents

As a part of Stevens Institute of Technology’s ongoing partnership with the Hoboken community, Stevens will provide access during the summer months to four tennis courts for use by Hoboken residents from June 5 through Aug. 21.

Hoboken residents 18 years of age and older will have access to the tennis courts on the northern end of the campus between the hours of 8 a.m. and 8:30 p.m. 

All interested residents will need to sign up at the Stevens Athletic Center for a visitor ID swipe card which will grant access to the courts for the designated times.

The reception desk is open Monday through Friday between 8 a.m. and 8:30 p.m. in the buildings main lobby.

Any participants in last year’s program must complete all paperwork again and will be issued a new ID card. ID cards issued last year are invalid.

For more information contact the Stevens Office of Campus Recreation:

Director-John Maurizi, jmaurizi@stevens.edu, (201) 216-8111

Assistant Director-Will Emanuele, wemanuel@stevens.edu, (201) 216-8554

Issyra Gallery presents new exhibit ‘Meeting’

“Meeting,” an exhibition featuring works by Georgina Keenan and Issa Sow, will be on view at the Issyra Gallery at 300 Observer Highway Bldg. C from June 3 to June 25.

Keenan is a self-taught artist working in cut paper and embroidery. The swirling lines and mythic figures that inhabit her collages and embroidered pieces are inspired by ancient depictions of the divine feminine, according to the press release. Embroidered on vintage gloves, these works echo the patterns of tattoos once worn by women in the Marquesas Islands to mark major life events.

Sow is an artist, curator, and founder of Issyra Gallery. He has produced various unique works, ranging from acrylic paintings to drawings to mixed media. With his self-learned style and technique he has created works inspired by real life. Each piece has a different personality and its own fingerprint.

On June 3 there will be an opening reception from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.

For more information contact the gallery at (917) 922-2690.

Joyce Carol Oates to read at Little City Books

On Wednesday, May 31 at 7 p.m. author Joyce Carol Oates will read and sign her new novel “A Book of American Martyrs” at Little City Books at the corner of First and Bloomfield streets. Oats will be joined by author Jonathan Santlofer for a discussion on the novel.

Oates is the author of more than 70 books, including novels, short story collections, poetry volumes, plays, essays, and criticism. The discussion is free but attendees must RSVP at info@littlecitybooks.com

One-Minute Play Festival scheduled for the end of June

The New Jersey One-Minute Play Festival will return for its seventh year, beginning a new partnership with Mile Square Theatre. 

The marathon evening of one-minute plays by over 30 of New Jersey’s established and emerging playwrights and directors has three performances only,

Performances will take place Saturday, June 24 at 8 p.m., and Sunday, June 25at 3 p.m. and 7 p.m., at 1400 Clinton St.

Tickets, priced at $20, are currently available at www.milesquaretheatre.org

Port Authority steps up security in wake of attacks in England

The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey has issued a statement following the terrorist attack in England.

“Following yesterday’s tragic terrorism attack in Manchester, England, the Port Authority Police Department has stepped up security at all of the agency’s transportation facilities in New York and New Jersey and the World Trade Center. The actions include increased counter security efforts, such as random bag and vehicle checks, the deployment of special weapons units, as well as the assignment of additional security personnel and equipment at our bridges, tunnels, airports, PATH rail and other holdings.”

A man set off an improvised bomb that killed at least 22 people and injured 59 outside a concert arena in central Manchester on May 22.

Registration open for Jersey City Ward Tour & Festival on June 4

Bike JC, a nonprofit organization that promotes bike-friendly streets, is hosting their annual Ward Tour, which will conclude with a party at the Newark Avenue Pedestrian Plaza.

Registration is open for the Jersey City Ward Tour & Festival, slated for June 4. The 15-mile tour, which is in its eighth year, will touch all six wards of Jersey City, and organizers are expecting about 2,000 riders to participate. 

The tour is presented in partnership with Mayor Steven M. Fulop, the Jersey City Municipal Council, and the Office of Cultural Affairs.

The tour starts on Sunday morning at 11 a.m. on Montgomery Street and Grove Street, next to City Hall (280 Grove St.). Protected by rolling street closures implemented by Jersey City police, riders will make a clockwise loop around the city, at a manageable pace (10 mph at the front) with several rest breaks, and finish on the Plaza between 1 and 1:30 p.m.

The following Finish Line Festival will continue all afternoon until 5 p.m., and will feature live music, food and drink, an expo with community/nonprofit organizations, and more.

Bike JC is also setting up discounts for riders at cafés and restaurants surrounding the City Hall start. The Sirelo Entertainment community drum circle will again warm up and send off the riders at the start (all are welcome to participate with their own percussion instruments).

Registration for the tour is required and is free at bikejc.org, with a $5 suggested donation to Bike JC. Riders must be age 12 or older, and must wear helmets. Younger children may be carried securely on an adult’s bike. This year the tour is rain or shine.

“We couldn’t do it without the city’s help,” said Bike JC President Patrick Conlon. “Of course, that’s also true of our larger goals: Creating a network of protected bike lanes around the city, and enabling more, and better, and safer cycling here.”

American Dream to open in 2019

The Triple Five Group of Companies has announced it has obtained the $1.67 billion private construction financing it needs to continue construction of the American Dream project in the Meadowlands, according to local media.

“We are pleased to have worked with JP Morgan and Goldman Sachs on the financing for this transformational project,” Don Ghermezian, CEO and president of American Dream, said. “The construction loan paves the way for the completion of American Dream and allows us to aggressively move forward with the construction and opening of the project.”

The firm had previously scheduled completion for fall 2018. Triple Five said American Dream is now slated to open in March 2019.

Despite the stoppage of construction, American Dream continued its leasing efforts. Kidzania, DreamWorks Water Park, Nickelodeon Universe Theme Park, Cinemex and Legoland Discovery Center have already signed up to be a part of the 3 million-square-foot project.

Triple Five has also owns Mall of America in Minnesota and Edmonton Mall in Canada.

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