Human Rights Campaign gives Hoboken a perfect score
According to a press release from the city, Hoboken has received a score of 100 from the Human Rights Campaign Municipal Equality Index, an annual examination of more than 500 municipalities, rating them on how inclusive local laws, policies, and services are for LGBTQ residents and employees.
2018 marks the first time Hoboken has received a perfect score. In 2017, Hoboken received a 92.
“I’m proud to see Hoboken recognized as a welcoming and inclusive city for the LGBTQ+ community,” said Mayor Ravi Bhalla in a release. “While the work we’ve done this year is important, a score of 100 is not the end goal. I will continue to advance policies designed to correct centuries of institutional disenfranchisement.”
New policies Mayor Bhalla introduced in 2018, such as the gender-neutral bathroom ordinance and a non-discrimination executive order for contractors, helped put Hoboken’s score over the top, the release said.
In August 2018, Hudson Pride Center awarded Mayor Bhalla the Evolution Award for being on the forefront of adopting policies that keep up with society’s evolving understanding of gender and sexuality. 2018 also saw the inaugural Hoboken Pride Week as part of the first-ever Hudson Pride Month, and the selection of Laura Knittel as Hoboken’s LGBTQ Community Liaison.
Free classical music concert will benefit Hoboken Homeless Shelter
Pamela Ross and Friends will present a free concert to benefit the Hoboken Homeless Shelter on Sunday, Oct. 28.
The music starts at 3 p.m. at The Hudson School Theatre Space, 601 Park Ave., Hoboken. Guest artists include Regi Papp on violin and Grace Ho playing cello. For information and reservations call (832)-294-3537.
Hoboken resident found dead in Hudson River
According to reports, a 32-year-old Hoboken woman was pulled from the river by emergency personnel at around 7:30 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 6 after a man walking his dog along Sinatra Drive near Fourth Street saw the woman floating in the river and called the police.
Despite attempts at life-saving measures at the scene, the woman could not be revived and was pronounced dead.
The final cause of death has not yet been determined, but according to reports, police don’t suspect foul play.
The woman’s identification was being withheld until immediate family members had been contacted.
County awards funds for Madison Street Park
According to a press release from the city, Hudson County has awarded Hoboken a $500,000 grant for improvements to the Madison Street Park Playground through the Hudson County Open Space Trust Fund.
Madison Street Park is the only park in the 3rd Ward and is used heavily by nearby residents.
“This park means the world to parents in my ward,” said 3rd Ward Councilman Michael Russo. “Having a quality park close to home means parents spend less time traveling to a park on the other side of town and more time playing with their kids. I want to thank the county for helping us improve Madison Street Park.”
“Thank you to Hudson County and our County Executive Tom DeGise for this grant,” said Mayor Ravi Bhalla. “In a city as densely populated as Hoboken, it’s important to preserve our open spaces, and this funding will go a long way to ensure the high quality of life all of our residents deserve.”
The improvements to Madison Street Park will ensure that the site continues to meet the needs of the community. The park will continue to serve local children and families alike with new playground structures, a new safety surface, spray park features, interactive musical equipment, and seating areas.
The project began with the public process in January and with council approval, a construction contract was set to be awarded at the Oct. 17 City Council meeting.
United Synagogue hosts free Reimagine End of Life performance on Nov. 1
The United Synagogue of Hoboken will host a performance by the Sokolow Theatre/Dance Ensemble, “Dancing Beyond Grief,” sponsored by Reimagine End of Life. The program will present works by Anna Sokolow, Isadora Duncan, Michael Foley, Rae Ballard, and Martha Graham’s iconic “Lamentation,” followed by a discussion with the artists.
Reimagine End of Life (https://www.letsreimagine.org) is a community-wide exploration of death and celebration of life through creativity and conversation. Drawing on the arts, spirituality, healthcare, and design, they sponsor week-long series of events that break down taboos and bring diverse communities together in wonder, preparation, and remembrance. Reimagine End of Life Week will sponsor 322 events throughout the five boroughs of New York and in Hoboken, exploring death and celebrating life…from all perspectives.
The free performance will be Thursday, Nov. 1 from 7:30 – 8:30 p.m. at the United Synagogue of Hoboken, 115 Park Ave. RSVP at https://letsreimagine.org/586/dancing-grief
Help save a life Nov. 13
On Tuesday, Nov. 13 from 3:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. the American Red Cross will have a blood drive at Hoboken High School.
Hoboken High School is located at 800 Clinton St.
Walk-ins are welcome but appointments are preferred. To schedule an appointment go to www.redcrossblood.org or use the Blood Donor App and enter the sponsor code keyword HobokenHSCommunity. Those wishing to donate should eat a healthy breakfast, drink extra water, and bring a photo ID.
Union City fire that took lives of five kids ruled an accident
According to a press release from the Hudson County Prosecutor’s Office, the July fire in Union City that led to the deaths of five children has been ruled an accident.
The investigation into the origin and cause of the fire has revealed that the origin was in a multi-purpose room in Apartment 1 located on the first floor of the residential building and the cause was an electrical failure of a power strip located in the room.
A report issued by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives on Sept. 25, 2018 concluded that the melting in a power strip located in Apartment 1 is consistent with electrical failure, and sparks ejected from the power strip may have ignited combustible materials in the vicinity.
“This heartbreaking fire has been very traumatic for Union City as well as the entire Hudson County community,” said Prosecutor Esther Suarez. “Our Investigative Units, along with the help of our local, state and federal partners have worked diligently to provide a thorough investigation and possibly some closure for the community as to what caused this tragic fire.”
The names and ages of the children who died as a result of the fire are: Mayli Wood, age 5; Jason Gonzalez, age 2; Christian Josue Mendez, age 7; Jose Felipe Tejada, age 13; and Shamira Lopez, age 4.
Agencies responding to the fire were North Hudson Regional Fire and Rescue, the Union City Police Department, the Jersey City Fire Department, the Hoboken Fire Department, Union City EMS, McCabe Ambulance Services, Jersey City Medical Center Emergency Medical Services, the Union City Office of Emergency Management, the Jersey City Office of Emergency Management, the Office of the Hudson County Prosecutor, the NJ State Fire Marshals Office, and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.
Prosecutor Suarez credited the following agencies that participated in the investigation: the Hudson County Prosecutor’s Office Homicide Unit, Arson Unit and Crime Scene Unit, the Union City Police Department, North Hudson Regional Fire and Rescue, the Jersey City Fire Department, the NJ Division of Fire Safety, the NJ State Fire Marshal and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.
Want to get your writing published? ‘Byline Bible’ publishing talk Nov. 2
A reading/publishing talk will be held Nov. 2 with “Byline Bible: Get Published in Five Weeks” author Susan Shapiro and “Carrie Pilby” author Caren Lissner, joined by New Jersey writers Kimberlee Auerbach, Darnell McGee, Cara O’Flynn, David Sobel, Doreen Oliver, and Jennifer Byrne. Includes Q&A on how to get your writing published, for all genres. It’s free and takes place Friday, Nov. 2, 7-8 p.m., LittleCity Books, Hoboken, a six-block walk from the train terminal.
Susan Shapiro is an award-winning writing professor at NYU and The New School. Her work appears in The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post and New York Magazine. Her new book “The Byline Bible,” is a funny and inspiring writing guide based on 25 years of teaching what she calls “the instant gratification takes too long” method that has helped thousands of students publish essays and books. You can follow her on Twitter @susanshapironet or Instagram at @profsue123
Caren Lissner is a Hoboken-based novelist and Hudson Reporter newspaper editor. Her nerdy first novel, Carrie Pilby, was recently turned into a comedy film starring Nathan Lane, Vanessa Bayer, Gabrielle Byrne, and Colin O’Donoghue, directed by Susan Johnson and currently running on Netflix. In the last year, she’s published articles, essays, and humor in the New York Times, Atlantic.com, Lit Hub, and McSweeney’s. Her novel is available on Amazon. She has recently given talks on journalism and creative writing at colleges including SCAD Atlanta and the University of Pennsylvania.