Amy DeGise will seek HCDO chair
In a move that apparently hopes to capitalize on her hefty voter numbers in last year’s Board of Education election, Amy DeGise – daughter of County Executive Tom DeGise – announced on May 10 that she will seek the chairmanship of the Hudson County Democratic Organization (HCDO.)
An elected member of the Jersey City Board of Education, lifelong Jersey City resident and educator, DeGise hopes to gain the support of the majority of the county’s mayors as well as many other Democratic leaders. A full list of endorsements will be announced soon.
DeGise will challenge state Senator and Union City Mayor Brian Stack in a committee vote in June to replace outgoing HCDO Chair Vincent Prieto.
The move is part of a fight for control of the HCDO and is apparently designed to help rescue her father as county executive, who Stack hopes to defeat with a candidate of his own in 2019.
Stack, along with Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop, West New York Mayor Felix Roque and Hoboken Mayor Ravi Bhalla, have said they would like to see a candidate other than Tom DeGise run for county executive in 2019.
The chair of HCDO would have a lot of influence in deciding which candidate will run on the official Democratic line on the primary ballot.
The campaign supporting Tom DeGise is promoting Amy DeGise as an example of Hudson County’s diversity.
“Hudson County is the most diverse, dynamic and exciting place in New Jersey and it’s time for our Democratic Party to reflect the energy and progressive values that our residents live every day,” said (Amy) DeGise. “I’m running to lead our county party into a unified, strong future that is open to everyone who cares about their community and wants to see progress in our county. I’m incredibly excited to begin this journey and look forward to working as hard as I can for each and every vote and for the future of our Hudson County Democratic Organization.”
But critics – even some supporters of Tom DeGise – are critical of the move, and believe Tom DeGise should run, not Amy.
The elected committee members of the Hudson County Democratic Organization will be voting on June 12.
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers calls for more vetting of Union Dry Dock property
According to a press release from the city of Hoboken, the United States Army Corps of Engineers has determined that it will require NY Waterway to undergo a more vigorous and public vetting process prior to allowing work to commence at the former Union Dry Dock site.
NY Waterway purchased the property in uptown Hoboken last November to become its ferry home port for maintenance, refueling, and repairs.
Hoboken wants to acquire the property for public open space.
The Army Corps decision was determined after Mayor Ravi Bhalla sent a letter to them requesting heightened scrutiny of the proposed use, a process that will allow for more public input and force NY Waterway to document the impact of the facility more thoroughly.
The Army Corps issued a notice stating that the NYWW application will be subject to review as an “individual permit application” rather than a national permit application.
An individual permit application requires a heightened level of scrutiny, a more open, transparent and public process, and the opportunity for a public hearing at the discretion of the Army Corps of Engineers at a location in near the project site.
As part of this process, the Army Corps will also study more suitable alternative locations for the proposed use.
“This is great news for Hoboken,” said Bhalla. “We have been advocating for an open and transparent process, so the voices of residents are heard and taken into account. I am grateful that the Army Corps of Engineers will take into consideration public input, including the well documented public detriments of the proposed use. This is a great step towards a regional solution that considers all legitimate interests.”
As part of the review process, residents may submit comments and request a public hearing in Hoboken.
“I am calling upon the [Army Corps] to convene a public hearing to take place in the City of Hoboken at a convenient day and time for residents,” said Bhalla. “There should be no barrier for our residents to voice their opinions. This is the public process we were promised earlier this year. The Army Corp of Engineers is to be commended for undertaking an open and transparent approach to this matter.”
The individual permit application, as opposed to the less-thorough national permit application, also requires a study to determine the impact of the use on air, water, wildlife, recreation, public safety, and other relevant considerations.
City removes sunken boats in Weehawken Cove
Two of the six sunken boats in the cove between Weehawken and Hoboken were removed Monday, May 7.
A spokesperson for the city, Santiago Melli-Huber, said two of the six boats were being removed as “those two are the ones that pose an immediate public safety risk. We have to work with the DMV because the other four don’t pose an immediate safety risk, so it’s a different process for removal.”
According to Melli-Huber children were playing on the two boats in question due to their close proximity to the rocks. He noted there is also concern that they could become loose.
Many of the boats have lain for years in the bottom of Weehawken Cove.
People have anchored their boats for free in the cove, only to have them capsize when a big storm rolls through. Some of the boats have been submerged since Superstorm Sandy in 2012, and removal has proven difficult.
Hoboken Fire Chief Brian Crimmins said removal was “long overdue.”
He said the boats are not only an eyesore but a hazard.
“Its a hazard to navigation,” said Crimmins. “They could crash into a boat or ferry. We have two marinas within half a mile and two ferry terminals within half a mile of the cove.”
Crimmins noted that the cove is not a designated anchorage area.
He said the Army Corp of Engineers does not remove capsized boats unless they pose an imminent hazard such as drifting farther into the river and that the boat removal can be very expensive; a barge with a crane must be hired to have them pulled up from the cove’s floor.
Melli-Huber said the removal of the two boats costs $15,200 but that the owners have been identified, and they will be billed for the cost of removal.
Cake Boss joins NJ Hall of Fame
Hoboken’s “Cake Boss” Buddy Valastro was inducted into the New Jersey Hall of Fame last weekend at a ceremony in Asbury Park.
“Truly blown away that I’m going to be inducted into the NJ Hall of Fame tonight. So honored and so happy my family will be here with me to celebrate the moment!” the Cake Boss star Valastro, who owns Carlos Bakery, said on May 6 on Instagram.
Seventeen other people were inducted during the 10th anniversary of the state’s hall of fame. Inductees included Steven Van Zandt, Meryl Streep, Harlan Coben, The Four Seasons, Gloria Gaynor, Debbie Harry, and more.
“Induction into the New Jersey Hall of Fame is the highest civilian honor that our state can bestow on someone,” said Gov. Phil Murphy in a January announcement of the inductees. “It’s a celebration of New Jersey that inspires the next generation of New Jersey leaders. Our inductees remind us how so many of our citizens have transformed the world and how proud we should be of that fact as New Jerseyans.”
Hoboken to host Propelify Innovation Festival; residents get free tickets
The City of Hoboken will welcome back the Propelify Innovation Festival on the Hoboken waterfront on May 17. Last year, more than 10,000 attendees from around the tri-state area united for a day advancing innovation and technology with tech, talks, exhibitors, startups, investors, music, food, drinks, and more.
This year, speakers include Mayor Ravi Bhalla, Governor Phil Murphy, GE’s former Vice Chair Beth Comstock, as well as founders and execs from Google, Plated, Contently, AeroFarms, NEA, Snopes, X.ai, Samsung, iHeart Media, and many more.
“The City of Hoboken is a great home to innovative companies and individuals,” said Bhalla. “We’re excited to welcome back the Propelify community and bring this opportunity to our residents to learn more about technology and explore career opportunities.”
As a sponsor and host city, Hoboken is offering residents special access. Residents can use code hoboken07030 to get a FREE ticket, while supplies last, by going to http://propelify.com/gaticket-18.
“I’m proud to bring the tech ecosystem of the Northeast to Hoboken,” said resident Aaron Price, founder of Propelify and the NJ Tech Meetup. “Our beautiful and convenient city is a perfect place to unite the tech, startup, and corporate innovation community. We all know how hard it is to convince New Yorkers to cross the river in our direction! I’m thrilled that we welcomed thousands from NJ, NY, and even 43 other states and 10 countries to our hometown for the Innovation Festival last year. It’s an honor to collaborate with the mayor and the city to show off the mile square for Propelify again.”
Propelify will include over 50 speakers on two stages, onsite tech recruiting, investor speed dating, a startup competition with over $3,000 in prizes plus a spot on Entrepreneur Elevator Pitch, a casting call for season three of Entrepreneur Elevator Pitch, Startup Humanity Heroes showcasing tech for social good, Voices of Progress by Audible, Drone Demos, Startup/Tech Exhibitors, Red Bull E-Sports Gaming Lounge, Food, music, and more
See the full program at: https://propelify.com/festival18/.
St. Francis Church to celebrate the Month of Mary with prayer ribbons
As the Roman Catholic Church celebrates May as the month to recognize the Blessed Mother, St. Francis Church, at 308 Jefferson St. is placing an outward expression of faith and devotion to the Holy Mother of Jesus with prayer ribbons for Mary.
After the Crowning of Mary which takes place on Sunday May 17, St. Francis will make blue prayer ribbons available to all who would like to write a prayer or intention and hang it on an ornamental wrought iron fence that surrounds the small church. The prayers are being included in the church’s weekly intentions.
“The month of May is a tribute to the Blessed Mother and we thought it would be a fitting, public expression of our faith and prayers for all of those in and outside our community to offer the Prayer Ribbons as we pray to Mary,” said Pastor Christopher Panlilio. “We hope to see the entire fence flowing in blue ribbons by the end of the month and will say prayers for all of those intentions written on the ribbons.”
The church is providing the ribbons and markers daily, along with a small card with the pastor’s favorite prayer, Hail Holy Queen.
Mile square Theatre presents 7th Inning Stretch
Mile Square Theatre will present its annual 10-minute play festival, 7th Inning Stretch: 7 10-minute plays about baseball during the weekend of May 18.
In celebration of Hoboken’s historical claim as the birthplace of baseball, since 2003 MST has commissioned some of America’s most celebrated playwrights to create short works on the theme of baseball.
This year’s lineup of writers has eagerly accepted the assignment and will be hitting it out of the park on May 18, 19, and 20 when this annual event at Mile Square Theatre at 1400 Clinton St.
This year’s writers include Bixby Elliot (If on a Winter’s Night), Bruce Graham (Moon Over the Brewery), Chris O’Connor (The Mascots), Tira Palmquist (The Way North), Guillermo Reyes (Men on the Verge of a His-Panic Breakdown), Nantida Shenoy (Washer/Dryer), and Anna Ziegler (Photograph 51).
“This is our 14 th year of premiering 10-minute baseball plays, and once again, we have an accomplished and diverse roster of playwrights for the Stretch,” said Chris O’Connor, MST’s artistic director and producer of the festival. “The plays are moving, funny, and so entertaining. It makes for a unique evening of theatre. The Stretch never fails to dazzle our audience, and they will not be disappointed. The entire event is a benefit for Mile Square Theatre.”
Shows will take place on Friday and Saturday May 18 and May 19 at 8 p.m. and Sunday May 20 at 3 p.m. Before the 8 p.m. show on May 19 attendees are welcome to arrive early at 6:30 for the Triple Play Party to join the actors and the board for food, drink, and an auction.
Tickets to the performance at $30 and $18 for seniors and students. The Triple Play Party is $75.
Tickets are available at www.milesquaretheatre.org, or by calling (201) 683-7014.
Discount parking is available at The Harlow on Fourteenth Street and Willow Avenue, and at Little Man Parking, 1300 Jefferson St.
Annual suicide prevention walk announced
On May 19, the inaugural Solace Sunrise Walk will include Hoboken with other locations in the U.S. and Canada to support Solace House, a suicide prevention center whose mission is to create a world where suicide, self-harm, and stigma have been replaced by hope, self-care and acceptance.
The Solace Sunrise Walk is a unique experience, which starts in each city at 5 a.m. with participants crossing the finish lines just as dawn breaks.
The event symbolizes the journey of many individuals who experience suicidal thoughts or engage in self-harm, who turn to Solace House for support and free therapeutic counseling. The walk is permission for individuals bereaved by suicide to openly grieve those they have lost as the walk itself is a healing process and a chance for people to come together in the fight against suicide.
Funds raised will help Solace House expand counseling services for those who are in suicidal crisis, and will also help the organization broaden its services through much-needed awareness workshops and training programs. Solace House provides services at no cost to those seeking help.
“I am overwhelmed by the response we have received since bringing Solace House to the U.S. and am thrilled to walk in solidarity with our supporters in our first inaugural Solace Sunrise Walk later this month,” said Senator Joan Freeman, founder and CEO of Solace House. “The Solace Sunrise Walk will bring us strides closer to our goal of preventing suicides in our communities.”
Online registration and further details for Solace Sunrise Walk are available at www.solacesunrisewalk.com.
Royal wedding fundraiser next week
The Elysian Café, on the corner of Tenth and Washington streets, will host a real-time royal wedding viewing party to raise funds for the Jubilee Center’s Summer Programs.
The fundraiser will be held at 7 a.m. on May 19 (Britain is five hours ahead of the U.S.).
Residents will receive a proper English breakfast and champagne toast as they watch Prince Harry and Meghan Markle tie the knot.
Tickets cost $28 per person, with a portion of the proceeds going towards the Jubilee Center’s Summer Programs. For more information, call (201) 798-5898.
Free author reading May 20
On Sunday May 20 at 11 a.m. Little City Books at 100 Bloomfield St. will host a free author reading.
Minneapolis author and illustrator Cori Doerrfeld will read her new book The Rabbit Listened.
It is an adorable and thoughtful new picture book for children from ages one to eight.
For more information contact Little City Books at (201) 626-READ.