Newspaper Media Group taps veteran editor for Hudson County papers
As part of Newspaper Media Group’s ongoing commitment to serving Hudson County’s thriving communities, NMG has tapped Bruce Moran as Department Editor. Moran, a veteran journalist, was bureau chief/editor at Dorf Feature Service/Star Ledger for 30 years and has served as news editor and sports editor for NMG since 2015. He’s currently Department Editor for Central New Jersey as well. “Hudson County is an exciting market,” Moran said. “I look forward to working with our talented editorial and graphics staff, based in our Bayonne office.” In June, NMG, which publishes more than 50 weeklies in Southern and Central New Jersey, bought the Hudson Reporter Associates. Said Moran, “Our mission is to cover the politics, arts, news, and culture that affect the everyday lives of people in Hudson County’s diverse communities.”
State AG against proposed law for state probes of police-involved shootings
New Jersey Attorney General Gurbir Grewal has spoken out against a proposed new law that would require his office, rather than county prosecutors, to lead investigations into police-custody deaths involving municipal officers. Grewal testified in December against the pending bill, now poised for full legislative approval. The attorney general told the Assembly Appropriations Committee that the legislation would “undermine public trust in law enforcement and will replace a system that already does everything that the sponsors seek to accomplish and more.” This legislation (A3115) has been a proposal dating back to 2016, when Senate President Stephen Sweeney, D-Gloucester, introduced a prior version in response to concerns about the often long-delayed results of county-prosecutor led probes into several deaths in South Jersey at the hands of local police officers.
City approves new contract with PBA through 2025
Mayor Steven M. Fulop, Police Division Director Tawana Moody, and the Jersey City Police Officers Benevolent Association (POBA) have announced that the city will re-open the last two years of the 2016 Arbitration Award in exchange for an increase in starting salary, modifications to healthcare benefits, work rule changes and a four-year extension to the award.
Effective January 1, 2019, the starting salary for Jersey City Police Officers will be increased to $41,000 from the current starting salary of $37,000. The city will also restore two pay steps that the new officers lost during the arbitration period and restore longevity payments to officers hired after Jan. 1, 2013.
“Over the last five years, our administration has hired hundreds of officers, and today is another validation of our commitment to our Police Department and safety of our residents,” said Mayor Steven M. Fulop. “I’m glad that the administration was able to work with the Jersey City POBA to find common ground.”
The city will also increase the salary at top pay during the last two years of the Arbitration Award. These are the last two years of service for the three large classes of officers who served honorably for 23 years.
“Previous contracts cut starting salaries and put the savings into top pay; the $4,000 increase for new officers is over 10 percent and sorely needed as they start their careers,” said Moody. “We were also able to increase flexibility for our police chief, who is implementing innovative crime fighting and community relations programs.”
The city also achieved significant health care changes which will be phased in over the next two years and an elimination of all longevity payments for new hires.
The agreement will now go to the POBA member and the city council for final verification.
Hackensack Riverkeeper now accepting scholarship applications
Hackensack Riverkeeper, the citizen-steward of the Hackensack River watershed, is accepting applications for the 2019 Ron Vellekamp Environmental Scholarship. The program is named in honor of the late Ridgefield science teacher and founding Riverkeeper Trustee, and helps support college-bound high school seniors who excel academically and who have a strong commitment to environmental protection.
Seniors at 66 high schools in Bergen, Hudson and Rockland Counties are eligible to be nominated by a teacher or guidance counselor. Applications must be postmarked no later than Earth Day, April 22, 2019. A panel of Hackensack Riverkeeper Trustees and staffers led by Captains Bill Sheehan and Hugh Carola will review each application and consider the students’ academic achievements, environmental extracurricular activities, and future plans. The winner of the $1,000 unrestricted award will be announced by June 1, 2019.
Kushner Companies wins key battle with city
The Fulop Administration must turn over documents that have been requested by Kushner Companies regarding the development of the One Journal Square residential project.
A Hudson County Judge Francis B. Schultz issued the ruling on Dec. 28 that said the city must comply with the developer’s requests for information
Kushner Companies and its partner, KABR Group, filed suit against the city in September when the city claimed the requests were “overly broad,” and the city did not have the resources to comply.
The ruling requires the city to deliver the documents by Jan. 17.
Kushner Companies is suing Mayor Steven Fulop and the Jersey City Redevelopment Authority, which voided potential approvals for the project. The city said the company had not found financing or lived up to time lines set as conditions for approval.
Kushner Companies, whose principal at one time was Jared Kushner, son-in-law of President Donald Trump, claims the city’s dislike of the president played a role in the decision – something adamantly denied by the city.
Investigators find car involved in fatal hit and run; driver charged
Delores Freire, 66, of Jersey City, was arrested by members of the Hudson County Regional Collision Investigation Unit and charged with allegedly leaving the scene of a motor vehicle accident that resulted in the death of a pedestrian, according to Hudson County Prosecutor Esther Suarez.
Freire was arrested on Dec. 27.
Corey Nettles, 44, of Jersey City was struck and killed on Monmouth Street on Dec. 22.
Christmas tree disposal
Residents are encouraged to put their Christmas trees on the curb on Wednesday evenings; trees will be picked up every Thursday morning throughout the month of January. Trees must be stripped of all ornaments, lights, and decorations and should not be bagged or wrapped.
Speranza Theatre Company presents FOODIES
Speranza Theatre Company present the FOODIES, hosted by Square 1 Community Eatery from Jan. 16 to 19 at 7:30 p.m. FOODIES is an evening of short plays and monologues tackling many people’s favorite subject – food.
Tickets are $40 and can be purchased at https://bpt.me/4024768. Included in the price is a light tasting menu created by the team from Square 1.
Seating is limited. All performances are at Square 1 Community Eatery, 283 St Pauls Ave., Jersey City, NJ 07306
Art House presents 2019 Snow Ball
Art House Productions and presenting sponsor Silverman will host the 13th Annual Snow Ball Gala on Saturday, Jan. 26, from 7 p.m. to 12 a.m. with the VIP experience beginning at 6 p.m. (The snow date will be Saturday, Feb. 2) at Art House’s location at the Cast Iron Lofts, 262 17th St. Tickets are $150 in advance ($175 at the door) and $250 for VIP reception.
The VIP experience includes a champagne toast with Snow Ball honoree Christine Goodman, Art House’s founder and executive director emeritus and current director of Cultural Affairs for Jersey City, and a first look at the silent auction, VIP cocktail from Jerry’s Vodka, exclusive catering from Joseph’s, and a thematic musical performance.
This year’s Snow Ball features live music from Cook Thugless, live and silent auctions from Grandstand Sports, including sports memorabilia, local art pieces, and exclusive weekend getaways. The Snow Ball gala also has a costume contest hosted by Harmonica Sunbeam, raffle with cash prizes, and late night dancing with DJ George Soul.
Wine & beer is sponsored by CoolVines, a Martini Bar is sponsored by NJ’s own Jerry’s Vodka, craft beer by NJ Beer Co. and buffet fare from GP’s Restaurant, Hamilton Pork, Hamilton Inn, and Brightside Tavern.
Proceeds benefit the upcoming season of performing and visual arts and arts education, with a production of “You’re A Good Man Charlie Brown” upcoming in its Stages! program and more original theater on the main stage this spring. Tickets may be purchased at www.arthouseproductions.org.