Jersey City priest faces new sex abuse allegations
The Rev. Gerard Sudol, the priest in residence at Our Lady Czestochowa in downtown Jersey City, has stepped aside after sex abuse allegations were raised against him dating back to when he served at a school in Ridgefield Park in the 1980s, a church official said.
Rev. Sudol was part of a million dollar settlement about 15 years ago after similar allegations were raised against him, according to Jim Goodness, spokesperson for the Archdiocese of Newark. An archdiocesan trial board later cleared Sudol of any wrongdoing, but he was reassigned to another role doing hospice work. He became a priest in residence at Our Lady Czestochowa, where he assisted with administering mass. Goodness said Sudol’s role did not involve interaction with the church school. Goodness said Sudol has voluntarily stepped aside as inquiries into the current allegations are being conducted.
The accusations were raised in a blog post by the alleged victim, referring to incidents between 1987 to 1989. Sudol served at St. Francis of Assisi in Ridgefield Park from 1986 to 1994.
Jersey City and state big winners on AG marijuana ruling, Fulop says
State Attorney General Gurbir S. Grewal on Aug. 29 released new guidelines addressing the scope and appropriate use of prosecutorial discretion in municipal court prosecutions of marijuana-related offenses.
The guidelines reaffirm that municipal prosecutors are not permitted to adopt their own policies to decriminalize marijuana. But prosecutors handling marijuana cases may appropriately exercise prosecutorial discretion on a case-by-case basis, as when prosecuting any other type of criminal offense.
In late July, Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop issued an executive order, telling municipal prosecutors not to prosecute for possession of small quantities of marijuana, which caused a brief battle with Grewal over whether the city had the authority to do so. After consultations between the city and Grewal, the attorney general’s office ordered a temporary suspension of prosecutions statewide in order to come up with more comprehensive guidelines.
The new guidelines state that insufficiency of the evidence usually will be the basis for amending or dismissing of a municipal court complaint, but that other reasons also might justify amendment or dismissal. For example, according to the guidelines, “a municipal prosecutor should consider the impact of adverse collateral consequences of a conviction based on the specific circumstances or factors presented by the defendant or elicited by the court,” to the extent permitted by law.
Fulop called this a big win for Jersey City and the state of New Jersey.
“I’m proud to say Jersey City stood its ground and effectuated a statewide policy direction that lets us achieve exactly what we initially intended,” Fulop said. “The bottom line is, using valuable Jersey City resources to prosecute small qualities of marijuana is not good use of tax payer money, and secondly, there is no reason to create a criminal record that will follow someone for life as a result of small quantities of marijuana.”
Jersey City loses its cool
The city announced the last week in August that cooling centers were open for those in need of relief from the extreme heat. The Mary McLeod Bethune Community Center, 140 Martin Luther King Drive, was announced as open, as were libraries, and spray parks where sprinklers were kept on. Cooling centers are opened in conjunction with the Jersey City Office of Emergency Management when heat indexes are expected to peak over 100.
The announcement referred residents to the city website for further information.
But when The Hudson Reporter checked the website on Wednesday for more sites, a list was nowhere to be found, leaving residents to scramble to locate them on their own. Pressed by The Reporter for more information, city officials admitted two locations on the west side considered cooling centers – the Collier Center and West Bergen Library – were closed for repairs. Ultimately, the Gallo Center in Lincoln Park was opened to accommodate residents on the West Side, thanks to the efforts of Ward B Council member Mira Prinz-Arey.
Jersey City school board to sue state over lost aid
Following through on a threat made earlier in August, the Jersey City Board of Education passed a resolution on Thursday, Aug 30 taking the first step towards suing the state over an expected $175 million loss in state aid over the next five years.
Board of Education President Sudhan Thomas said the cuts violate previous state Supreme Court rulings for providing the constitutional mandate of a providing a “thorough and efficient” education for urban school students.
The resolution authorizes the district to hire the politically-powerful law firm of Genova Burns for a suit many expect will eventually lead to the state Supreme Court.
Gov. Phil Murphy signed legislation into law in July that eliminated a form of state school aid called adjustment aid as part of a compromise with state Sen. President Stephen Sweeney and other legislators who claim the massive aid to districts like Jersey City was unfair to other districts that did not receive such aid.
‘Therapy, Bro’ premiers at the 2018 Golden Door International Film Festival
Open Iris Entertainment’s “Therapy, Bro” will be screened at the Golden Door International Film festival Film Festival on Sept. 22 at 1 p.m. in The Landmark Loews Theatre at Journal Square.
“Therapy, Bro” stars Wally Marzano-Lesnevich, Francesco Nuzzi, Heather Brittain O’Scanlon, and Garry Pastore. The film directed by John Hedlund has received multiple awards, and is among more than 100 films that will be shown during this year’s festival.
The Golden Door International Film Festival is in its 8th year and is considered New Jersey’s premiere film festival. After taking submissions since late last year, the festival is the culmination of the awards season. The festival will present films at multiple locations throughout Jersey City from Sept. 20 to 23, with the opening gala at the Loews on Sept. 20. The opening reception will have live music and will be hosted by New Jersey’s bad boy comic, Mike Marino.
“Sarah Q,” directed by John Gallagher and starring Garry Pastore as NYPD Detective John Belson, will have its world premiere at the festival as well.
Guests attending the festival will include actors involved with Sarah Q such as Pastore and his brother Vincent; Federico Castelluccio and Tony Sirico from “The Sopranos,” Burt Young from “Rocky,” Steve Stanulis, from “The Fifth Borough” and other films, and many other actors.
The guests also include actors and staff associated with films that will be shown such as “Maternal Secrets,” “Doubting Thomas,” “The Pretender,” “Yellow Scare,” “Sisters Plotz” as well as this year’s celebrity rock star, Steve Conti.
Local moviemakers from Bayonne, Hoboken, Jersey City and Union City are also involved in this year’s festival.
Also expected to attend are actors involved in the film “Miami or BUST – A Hoboken Bet,” which includes Susan Varon, of “Boardwalk Empire,” and Chris Depirro of “Tony and Tina’s Wedding.”
For ticket information and a schedule of shows go to http://goldendoorfilmfestival.org/.
Jersey City finished 114th in safe driving survey
All State has released its 14th annual American’s Best Drivers report and found that Jersey City finished 114 out of 200 cities cited as safest driving cities in America. The report showed that the average Jersey City driver will experience a traffic collision once every eight years. This is below the national average of every ten years. Jersey City drivers were found to be much safer than Brownsville, Texas or Boston, Mass. which had the worst records in this report.
The All State America’s Best Drivers Reporter uses company claims data to analyze collision frequency.
Library to name Greenville Branch for journalist Earl Morgan
The Jersey City Free Public Library will dedicate the Greenville Branch after Earl A. Morgan, a journalist and community hero, at a dedication ceremony and reception on Oct. 3 at 11 a.m. The branch is located at 1841 Kennedy Boulevard.
Morgan spent a great deal of time at the Miller Branch, as well as the Greenville Branch, where he visited the Afro-American Historical and Cultural Society Museum on the second floor.
Library Director Priscilla Gardner recalled Morgan’s long personal history with the Jersey City Free Public Library.
“Earl would share many stories with me, especially how his mother would often bring Earl to Miller Branch during his youth. He often mentioned that the same table where he sat at as a young child was still in the children’s department at Miller Branch.”
Nimbus Dance Works honors legacy of Meredith Lippman with art exhibit
Nimbus Dance Works will host an arts exhibition and fundraiser from Sept. 7-28 in honor of Meredith Lippman (1952-2015), who dedicated herself to the arts of Jersey City and Hudson County for three decades. The exhibition’s opening event will be held on Sept. 14 from 7 to 11 p.m. at Nimbus Dance Works, 165 Newark Ave., Jersey City. Lippman’s family has donated 40 of her paintings to be auctioned.
As a teacher, advocate, mentor, and unifier in the arts community, Lippman’s impact on local arts organizations and individual artists was widespread. She served as president of Pro Arts Jersey City, played a key role at the Hudson County Office of Cultural & Heritage Affairs as a program development specialist, and was instrumental in finding Nimbus Dance Works’ first full-time home studio. She was admired for her artistic curiosity and willingness to learn.
More information about tickets, the exhibition, and auction can be found at: www.nimbusdanceworks.org/events/2018/9/7/looking-forward-remembering-meredith-lippman-exhibition.
Autism Beach Bash scheduled for Sunday, Sept. 9 in Belmar
Autism Family Services of New Jersey will host the 14th Annual Autism Beach Bash on Sunday, Sept. 9 for families in New Jersey and surrounding areas living with autism and related disorders.
The Autism Beach Bash will be held from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on the 7th Avenue beach in Belmar, and features a surf camp with Surfer’s Healing, a California based non-profit specializing in working with children with special needs.
A 2018 report from the Center of Disease Control reported that autism prevalence in New Jersey rises to 1 in 34 children.
“Autism Family Services of New Jersey is incredibly proud to have hosted the largest Autism gathering in New Jersey since 2005,” said Eric M. Joice, CEO of Autism Family Services of New Jersey.
The event includes an exhibitor tent featuring local and statewide services for individuals with autism, an activity tent, arts and crafts area, waterslide, dancing and interactive sessions throughout the day. The Annual Autism Beach Bash remains the largest gathering in New Jersey of individuals with autism and their families.
Last year’s Autism Beach Bash welcomed more than 7,000 attendees, while over half of this year’s pre-registered families will be new to the event. Families will also be attending from surrounding states such as Maryland, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia and Rhode Island. Lunch will be provided free to all registered families.
Individuals may register for the Autism Beach Bash, or obtain more information about the organization, by visiting www.autismbeachbash.org or by calling Autism Family Services of New Jersey at 1-877-237-4477.
HCCC Poetry Bootcamp explores the creative writing process
Individuals who wish to explore their creative side and learn the skills needed to unlock their imagination are invited to take part in the “Poetry Bootcamp” at Hudson County Community College (HCCC). The program is three sessions long and will be held on Friday, Sept. 14, 21, and 28 from 6 to 8:30 p.m. in the College’s Gabert Library at 71 Sip Avenue in Jersey City. Space is limited, and the cost is $99 per person.
The instructor, Sarah T. Jewell, is the author of “How to Break Your Own Heart” (Dancing Girl Press, 2017), and has read her poetry at The New York Public Library, The Cornelia Street Café, and other venues.
Those who wish to attend the “Poetry Bootcamp” may register online at https://tinyurl.com/hcccpoetry2018 or by calling (201) 360-4224. Payment by credit card, money order, cash, or check payments is due at time of registration. More information may be obtained by phoning (201) 360-4262 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Outdoor flea market coming to St. John’s Lutheran
St. John’s Lutheran Church will hold an outdoor flea market at 155 North St. on Sept. 16 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. For more information, call (201) 214-5300 or email email@example.com.