SMILES ALL AROUND – Hospital employees and community members enjoy conversation at the CarePoint Health-Christ Hospital Iftar Dinner on Wednesday, May 23. About 170 people, including many members of Jersey City’s and Bayonne’s Muslim communities, local public figures, healthcare administrators, and others attended the two CarePoint Health-sponsored Iftar Dinners held in observance of the month long Muslim holiday of Ramadan. In Bayonne, the Iftar dinner was held on Monday, May 21, at CarePoint Health-Bayonne Medical Center on 29th Street and Avenue E. Nearly 80 people attended. Two nights later, 90 people attended the Iftar Dinner at CarePoint Health-Christ Hospital on Palisade Avenue in Jersey City. Attendees included several members of the Christ Hospital Medical Staff.

Liberty State Park marina plan is dead in the water

A marina proposed for the south side of Liberty State Park has been rejected by the state Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) after months of protests by park advocates.
This is third victory for park preservationists in two years.
The DEP, which oversees the state park on the eastern side of Jersey City, will however grant Suntex Marinas – which was to develop the southern marina – an additional 10 acres at the north end of the park where the company already maintains a marina.
Earlier in May, the DEP also rejected a proposed expansion of the Liberty Golf Course into a jetty near the south end of the park, prompting a significant outcry from park supporters as well as environmentalists over the possible encroachment into wetlands and wild species habitat located there.
Two years ago, Friends of Liberty State Park along with local public officials and others stopped a massive development plan proposed for the park, including the construction of a possible casino.
All three of these plans were proposed with the backing of then Gov. Christopher Christie. Advocates for the park credit the change of administration and the support of current Gov. Phil Murphy for the rejection of the latest plans.
Sam Pesin, president of The Friends of Liberty State Park was elated.
“This great news marks a major turning point in LSP history with hopefully a long, positive era initiated by Governor Murphy and his excellent DEP Commissioner Catherine McCabe and Assistant Commissioner Ray Bukowski,” Pesin said. “The Friends of LSP and our advocacy co-leader Greg Remaud, head of the NY/NJ Baykeeper, thank the hundreds of park supporters who once again stood up for our urban state park, and expressed special thanks to Mayor Steven Fulop and the Hudson County legislative delegation.”
“The decision not to pursue the Suntex Marina term sheet pushed through during the previous administration demonstrates that Governor Murphy and NJDEP Commissioner McCabe are strong stewards of the public trust, even in the face of influential special interests, said Greg Remaud, the NY/NJ Baykeeper. “Liberty State Park is back in good hands.”

Pulaski Skyway will be closed this weekend

In anticipation of switching all traffic onto southbound lanes, the NJ Department of Transportation (NJDOT) has announced that all lanes on the Pulaski Skyway will be closed for the upcoming June 1-to-3 weekend. This traffic shift is a necessary step to reopening northbound lanes this summer.
NJDOT officials announced that southbound traffic on the Pulaski Skyway is scheduled to be shifted from the northbound lanes back onto the newly-completed southbound lanes on Monday, in advance of reopening to two-way traffic this summer as the redecking portion of the $1 billion rehabilitation project nears completion.
In order to implement the traffic shift, a full closure of the Skyway is necessary this weekend.
To avoid delays, NJDOT is encouraging motorists to use the NJ Turnpike-Hudson County Extension to all destinations west and south, including I-78, or to I-280/Route 7 and Route 1&9 Truck southbound.
Beginning at 11 p.m., Friday, June 1 until 5 a.m. Monday, June 4, NJDOT’s contractor, CCA Civil Inc.- Daidone Joint Venture, is scheduled to close the Pulaski Skyway southbound at the off ramp to I-280/Route 7 and Route 1&9 southbound to remove construction barriers and restripe the roadway in order to shift southbound traffic back onto the completed southbound lanes by Monday morning.
Before northbound traffic can be restored, the temporary guiderail separating northbound and southbound lanes will be removed and minor paving will be completed. In addition, the median barrier will be installed on a portion of the east end of the Skyway. Once this work is completed over the next several weeks, the northbound lanes will be reopened.
Heavy congestion and delays are expected in Tonnelle Circle this weekend during the full closure. The work is being coordinated with adjacent projects. The Pulaski Skyway Contract 2 project that is rehabilitating Route 139 upper and lower levels will be working, however traffic will be maintained westbound on the lower level this weekend.
NJDOT created a project-specific website – – which contains a wealth of information about the Skyway and the project and will be updated with relevant new information as work progresses. The department is carefully coordinating the Pulaski Skyway project with other regional transportation infrastructure projects to minimize traffic congestion.
The Department has a project hotline telephone number, (973) 776-7400, and email,
Anyone who has questions, concerns, or suggestions is encouraged to contact the Project Outreach Team as work progresses.
NJDOT will be using Variable Message Signs to provide advance notification to motorists of traffic pattern changes associated with the work. Follow the information on Twitter @Skywayrehab and visit for travel advisories.

Natasha Deckmann named CEO of CarePoint

CarePoint Health has announced the appointment of Natasha Deckmann, M.D., as chief executive officer of the health care system, which includes three area hospitals, Bayonne Medical Center, Christ Hospital in Jersey City, and Hoboken University Medical Center.
Deckmann has held leadership positions for the past several years at Optum, a leading health services and innovation company. Her tenure included serving as the head of Population Health Solutions at Optum Health, managing $2 billion in revenue and driving innovative solutions to population health challenges.
“We are pleased to introduce Dr. Deckmann as the new CEO of CarePoint Health and know the depth of her experience and leadership that she brings to our three hospitals and, especially, our patients,” said Jeffrey Mandler, an owner and board member of CarePoint Health. “Dr. Deckmann is a strategic leader with a proven track record of delivering results, and her experience in managing people across diverse cultures and geographies offers the type of insight and knowledge to lead the delivery of health care to our communities.
“Dr. Deckmann will unify and lead the hospital system into its next phase of service to the community,” added Mandler.
Dr. Deckmann also previously served as chief operating officer of Consumer Solutions Group (CSG) at Optum Health. She also held a number of senior leadership roles at Marsh Inc., including chief operating officer of the International Division, and led strategic consulting engagements for clients across the entire health care industry, including the U.S. government, for Oliver Wyman. Dr. Deckmann also worked with the Health Care Initiatives group at General Motors Corporation. She has expertise in population health management, benefit management, care management, M&A, product development and management, portfolio management, strategy, operations and change management.
“I am eager to be joining the CarePoint Health family which continues to be a leader in delivering quality care and health care innovation,” said Dr. Deckmann. “My mission will be to continue to elevate the level of care while working closely with the diverse Hudson County community to ensure we are reaching all individuals.”
Dr. Deckmann earned a Bachelor of Science in Economics from the University of Michigan, an MBA from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University and a Doctorate of Medicine from the Feinberg School of Medicine at Northwestern University.

JCTC to honor Hudson County Cultural Affairs director

Jersey City Theater Center’s (JCTC) 12-Year Anniversary Celebration ‘celebrates’ not only the Jersey City nonprofit arts organization reaching the dozen-year mark, but the combination of arts, community and diversity for which JCTC is known.
The JCTC board of directors has created a Lifetime Achievement in Arts and Culture Award, which will be officially bestowed at the celebration. This annual award acknowledges individuals instrumental in helping the arts flourish so they can have a positive social and economic impact on communities. The first recipient of this honor will be Bill LaRosa, the former director of the Hudson County Office of Cultural & Heritage Affairs, who retired last September.
“Bill LaRosa always saw the arts as a means to unite the community,” said Olga Levina, artistic director of JCTC. “The real magic in theater and the arts comes from listening, and with kindness and intelligence, Bill truly listened to artists and organizations. As director of the Hudson County Office of Cultural Affairs, he always came from a place of love for the arts and respect for artists, giving them the attention they deserve. Bill knew and loved his community and truly embraced the arts in Hudson County. No arts organization can stand alone, and he has been a crucial supporter of JCTC from our very beginning. It is an honor for JCTC to give our first lifetime achievement award to someone who truly made a difference for the arts in Hudson County and New Jersey.”
All proceeds from the fundraising event go towards supporting JCTC’s 2018/2019 season, which the nonprofit arts organization’s hopes will be most ambitious period of programming yet. Beginning in September, JCTC will provide a robust schedule of theatre, dance and other performances as well as readings and visual art events. JCTC has also expanded its youth and family programming with new shows and classes for children and teens. Attendees to the celebration will be the first to find out the details of what JCTC has in store for its upcoming season.
JCTC’s birthday party is the first soiree of the summer of 2018, bringing together leaders and other professionals from the worlds of art, business and politics. The celebration will be held at White Eagle Hall on June 26 from 6:30 to 10 p.m. and includes open bar, hot & cold hors d’oeuvres and live jazz from The Hudson Banks Trio.
The event tickets are $100.To purchase tickets visit
White Eagle Hall is located at 335-337 Newark Ave. in Jersey City. For JCTC information, call (201) 795-5386.

5th Annual Jersey City 4th of July Festival will be at Exchange Place Plaza

Mayor Steven M. Fulop has announced the expansion of the Jersey City 4th of July Festival at its new permanent location, the Exchange Place Plaza. The free all-day festival will take place along the Hudson River waterfront from 1 to 10 p.m. and will include kid’s entertainment, a smorgasbord of food, carnival rides, multiple beer gardens, live performances by award-winning musicians, and a grand finale fireworks show on the Hudson River. Last year, the event drew over 100,000 spectators from throughout the city and region.
“In 2013 we brought back Jersey City’s 4th of July event because we believed in bringing our families, friends, and neighbors together to celebrate Independence Day, while showing off all that our city has to offer,” said Mayor Fulop. “This year will be the fifth year of this incredible event, and each year we strive for more attractions, bigger crowds, and larger acts. I am confident that this year will be the best yet, and I look forward to a fun-filled day celebrating our nation in the shadow of the Statue of Liberty.”
The festival will take place along the Hudson River waterfront and surrounding area of Harborside, with designated zones for carnival rides, bounce houses, a food truck alley, multiple beer gardens, and a headliner stage at the Exchange Place Plaza. All daytime performers and headliner acts will be announced within the coming weeks.
Last year, the state of New Jersey’s government shutdown on July 4th weekend forced Mayor Fulop to relocate the festival from Liberty State Park to the Exchange Place Plaza. The new event location was a huge success, drawing in over 100,000 people from throughout the region to enjoy a headline performance by Kool & the Gang, and experience a fireworks display over the Manhattan skyline.

Golden Door Film Festival celebrated by MovieMaker magazine

Golden Door International Film Festival of Jersey City, New Jersey was recently named one of the 50 Film Festivals Worth the Entry Fee in 2018 by MovieMaker magazine.
“It’s so overwhelming to be recognized by one of the most prominent magazines in the film world,” said Executive Director Michele Sorvino. The annual list is compiled by the editors of MovieMaker, which is the nation’s leading resource on the art and business of making movies. “We are also humbled to be the only film festival recognized in the state of New Jersey. This recognition solidifies that GDIFF’s goals meet industry standards and above.”
Founded in 2010 by actor Bill Sorvino and his creative team, the four-day festival prides itself as a cultural focal point of Jersey City. It is now in its eighth year and has screened 831 films, represented 92 countries and boasts over 14,000 attendees.
The Golden Door International Film Festival will be held from Sept. 20 – 23. To find out more, visit

Immigrant Affairs meeting on June 4

Jersey City Immigrant Affairs Commission will hold its next meeting on Monday, June 4, at 6:30 p.m. in the Efrain Rosario Memorial Caucus Room on the second floor of City Hall, 280 Grove Street, Room 204.

North River Sing holds spring concert

The North River Sing Community Chorus will hold its 4th annual spring concert featuring stylish jazz, show tunes and standards on Sunday, June 10 at 4 p.m. at Grace Church, 39 Erie St. in downtown Jersey City.
The group will ask audience members for a $15 donation.
The community chorus, which formed early in 2014, is known for performing songs from the American Song Book and include favorites from composers such as Irving Berlin, Rodgers and Hammerstein, and George Gershwin.
For more information go to or

Cathedral Market Day is June 9 at Grace Church Van Vorst

Cathedral Market Day, a fundraiser to benefit Grace Church Van Vorst and its outreach activities, will be held on Saturday, June 9 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the church on 39 Erie St., Jersey City. The church will be filled with upscale thrift, new or gently used items of home décor, art, jewelry and accessories, toys, hand crafted items, and clothing for adults and children. Featured will be a café and baked goods plus face painting and art activities for children. Bring the whole family for a day of food, finds and fun. Admission is free.

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