West Side Avenue stations of HBLR could close for 9 months
In order to accommodate underground work by the Jersey City Municipal Utilities Authority, NJ Transit is proposing to close down three stations along the West Side Avenue line of the Hudson Bergen Light Rail for nine months.
Emergency repair work is scheduled to begin on or about June 1, 2019 and continue to March 1, 2020.
This could affect some of the poorest residents of Jersey City as well as students of New Jersey City University who use that line. The temporary closure would affect the West Side Avenue, Martin Luther King Drive, and Garfield Avenue stations.
NJ TRANSIT will conduct two public hearings to receive public comment, on Thursday, March 7 at 2 to 4 p.m. and 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at New Jersey City University, Gilligan Student Union Building (Culver Avenue entrance) Multi-Purpose Room B, 2039 John F. Kennedy Blvd. in Jersey City.
Substitute bus service will be provided for express travel from each of the three stations (West Side Avenue, Martin Luther King Drive and Garfield Avenue) directly to the Liberty State Park station, where customers can connect to regular HBLR service.
Shuttle buses will also provide local service between each of the three stations. The West Side Avenue Park and Ride will remain open during the station closure. When the project begins, NJ TRANSIT customer service representatives will be on location to help direct customers.
JCMUA is repairing an old, deteriorating sewer pipe that runs directly underneath the light rail tracks. It will take NJ TRANSIT at least two months to decommission the section of the West Side Avenue light rail line, removing wire, shutting off electricity and removing track before JCMUA will have access to the work site.
Summit Avenue Bridge over Route 139 has reopened
New Jersey Department of Transportation (NJDOT) officials said the Summit Avenue Bridge over Route 139 is reopened and Route 139 Upper Level eastbound between JFK Boulevard and Central Avenue in Jersey City is almost complete.
On Feb. 8, Schiavone Construction, made the final adjustments to the new traffic signal at Summit Avenue and Route 139 Upper Level, as well as the existing traffic signals at Summit and Newark Avenues; and JFK Boulevard and Route 139. These roads were scheduled to reopen at around 5 p.m.
Prosecutor gets grant to develop child advocacy center
Hudson County Prosecutor Esther Suarez has announced that a Child Advocacy Development Capital Grant in the amount of $551,975 has recently been awarded to the Office of the Hudson County Prosecutor by the New Jersey Department of Children and Families.
The grant for the Prosecutor-based Child Advocacy Center (CAC) was awarded on Dec.20, 2018, and accepted by the Hudson County Board of Chosen Freeholders by way of resolution on Jan.24.
A CAC is a child-focused, facility-based program that provides a safe, secure and healing environment for the victims of child abuse and neglect, while also providing programs that focus on the prevention of abuse and neglect. This is achieved by the coordinated efforts of a multi-disciplinary team composed of individuals from child protection, law enforcement, prosecution, healthcare and mental health agencies. The team works together to conduct interviews and make team decisions on cases of child abuse and neglect. This approach is intended to minimize any additional trauma to the child and non-offending caregivers, while also holding offenders accountable through the court system and ensuring procedural fairness.
The new CAC will be entirely housed in a separate, secure and child-friendly location where Hudson County’s multi-disciplinary team will be able to properly respond to allegations of child abuse and provide additional centrally-located services.
“Hudson County residents need and deserve a fully accredited Child Advocacy Center and the funding from this grant will now be utilized to construct and outfit Hudson County’s new CAC in Secaucus,” said Prosecutor Suarez. “We are excited to be able to move our plans forward to provide a nurturing environment for abused or neglected children and their families.”
In 2017 the Hudson County Prosecutor-based CAC and Victim Witness Unit engaged 296 children. Of those children, 150 cases were investigated by the Hudson County Prosecutor’s Office Special Victims Unit as child abuse cases. The investigations include cases with multiple children that are counted as a single investigation.
According to the National Children’s Alliance there are currently more than 880 CACs located across the United States. In 2015, an estimated 1,670 children died from abuse and neglect in the United States. During that year, CACs around the country served nearly 311,000 child victims of abuse, providing victim advocacy and support to these children and their families. In 2014, this number was more than 315,000.
Hudson County CASA is seeking volunteers
Learn how to become a CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocate) volunteer and help foster children find safe and permanent homes. The next information session will be held at Little City Books at 100 Bloomfield St., Hoboken, on Wednesday, Feb. 20 at 7 p.m.
CASA is a nonprofit organization committed to advocating for the best interests of abused and neglected children. CASA works through trained community volunteers to ensure that needed services and assistance are made available to children while helping to move them toward safe and permanent homes.
CASA volunteers are everyday people who make a direct impact in foster children’s lives. They are trusted, dedicated adults who seek to improve children’s well-being. CASA volunteers get to know their assigned child and his or her circumstances and provide valuable information to the court. Judges rely on the volunteers’ recommendations to make the best decisions about the children’s futures.
For further information, visit www.hudsoncountycasa.org
JCMC gets $1 million from Lord Abbett for new maternity wing
Jersey City Medical Center has received a $1 million donation from Lord, Abbett & Co. LLC to support and expand maternity services for those within its rapidly growing service area. Through the donation, the Lord Abbett Maternity Wing of Jersey City Medical Center will be established. Designed to serve New Jersey’s fastest growing city, the new 17,500-square-foot, state-of-the-art facility will have 20 private rooms designed to promote bonding and provide the best outcomes for newborns, mothers and families.
“Our vision is to create an environment where every woman who delivers at our hospital will have a private room where she can heal after giving birth, bond with her newborn and immediate family, and spend time together with her extended family,” said Lance Bruck, MD, vice president and chairman, Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Women’s Health, Jersey City Medical Center.
The Lord Abbett donation will expand and enhance the existing women’s healthcare services at Jersey City Medical Center, and represents the celebration of the firm’s 90th anniversary. The development of the Lord Abbett Maternity wing at Jersey City Medical Center will begin in February and is expected to be completed later this year.
For more information about Jersey City Medical Center, please visit www.RWJBH.org/jerseycitymedicalcenter.
Bill to better facilitate food donation clears Senate
Legislation sponsored by Senate President Pro Tempore M. Teresa Ruiz and Sen.Sandra Cunningham (D-Hudson), which would create a website to help facilitate food donations, in late January passed the Senate.
The bill, S-3238, would require the Department of Human Services to create a website to better facilitate food donations between nonprofit organizations, gleaners, and food retailers. The website would be designed to maximize communication and connectivity between entities that wish to donate or to receive food.
The website would provide real-time information on available surplus food, entities in need of food, and logistical resources available. It would be run by the state or by a nonprofit organization. The website would include information regarding donors, the food they have available, and nonprofit organizations available to receive food.
HCCC presents the work of Jesse Wright in ‘Teacher as Artist’ exhibition
At a time when individuals are divided by physical boundaries and sociopolitical issues, educator and artist Jesse Wright’s portraits seek to champion making connections, promoting empathy, and considering one another’s stories.
The Hudson County Community College (HCCC) Department of Cultural Affairs invites the community to view Wright’s work in the newest “Teacher as Artist” exhibition until March 30. His work will be displayed in the College’s Gabert Library at 71 Sip Ave. in Jersey City and North Hudson Campus Library at 4800 Kennedy Boulevard in Union City.
A reception with the artist will be held on Friday, March 1 from 4 to 7 p.m. in the HCCC Dineen Hull Gallery Atrium, which is located on the sixth floor of the Gabert Library Building. There is no charge for admission to the exhibition or the reception.
Jesse Wright teaches at the Goldman Sachs Student Art Program in Jersey City and Eastern Christian High School in Haledon. He received his Bachelor of Arts from the School of Visual Arts in New York City. The portraits in this “Teacher as Artist” exhibition were inspired by Wright’s humanitarian work at underserved and disenfranchised communities – orphanages, medical centers, schools, and displacement camps – in Haiti, Honduras, Mexico, Uganda, and the United States.
Curated by HCCC Cultural Affairs Director Michelle Vitale, the “Teacher as Artist” solo exhibitions throughout the year celebrate the creativity of Hudson County educators who are also local artists.
The HCCC Gabert Library is open Monday to Friday, 7:30 a.m. to 10 p.m.; Saturday, 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.; and Sunday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. The HCCC North Hudson Campus Library is open Monday – Friday, 7:30 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Saturday, 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.; and Sunday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Two Hudson County nonprofits get federal funds to combat homelessness
U.S. Senators Bob Menendez, ranking member of the Senate Subcommittee on Housing, Transportation, and Community Development, and Cory Booker today announced that a combined $4,012,783 in grants have been awarded through the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Continuum of Care Program (CoC) to support 30 permanent and transitional housing programs for homeless individuals and families and to support homelessness prevention programs throughout New Jersey.
Garden State Episcopal Comm. Development Corp. in Jersey City will receive $148,231, and the Hudson County Division of Housing and Community Development will receive $223,534.
With the goal of long-term stability, the CoC Program is designed to assist individuals and families experiencing homelessness, and to provide the services needed to help such individuals move into transitional and permanent housing.
Nimbus nominated for Jerseyarts.com People’s Choice Awards
Nimbus has been nominated for Favorite Modern Dance Company in the 2019 JerseyArts.com People’s Choice Awards. Now in its 11th year, the annual awards program run by Discover Jersey Arts pays tribute to the work of New Jersey’s vital, vibrant, and diverse arts organizations. With the ballots now prepped, it’s time for arts lovers across the state to vote for their favorite local arts organizations.
Nimbus and the other contenders in the 2019 People’s Choice Awards were nominated by their peers through the Jersey Arts Marketers network, which is made up of hundreds of arts groups across the state. Now, 11 arts districts and 104 organizations will compete in 19 categories, including favorite music festival, art gallery, small theatre, ballet company and more.
Public voting began January 9 and runs through Feb. 20 at www.JerseyArts.com/Vote. Last year, more than 18,000 ballots were cast, and even more are expected this year.
For a full list of nominees and categories, please visit www.JerseyArts.com/Vote