A Drag Queen Story Hour at Word Book Store which featured Harmonica Sunbeam brought out protest protestors from The American Society for the Defense of Tradition, Family and Property (TFP) on May 11.
A Drag Queen Story Hour at Word Book Store which featured Harmonica Sunbeam brought out protest protestors from The American Society for the Defense of Tradition, Family and Property (TFP) on May 11.

Body recovered near Harbor Side Plaza

About 11:30 a.m. on May 13, Jersey City Fire Department units along with the vessel JCFD Marine 2 were dispatched with EMS to Harbor Side Plaza on a report of a person in water.

Upon arrival, firefighters saw a male body floating in the water but too close to the rocks and shoreline for easy extraction by boat.

“So, we suited members up and they deployed into water where they packaged the male and created a rope hauling system to remove the body in a Stokes basket,” said a ranking official on the scene. “We handed the body over to the coroner and police department.

Identification was found on the victim, although details have not yet been released to the public

“I only heard that he wasn’t the missing man from Hoboken,” the official said. “It was a recovery not a rescue but our members literally had water rescue training just last week.

Legalized recreational marijuana will be put to a vote 

State Senate President Stephen Sweeney has announced that after months of struggling to reach an agreement on the legalization of recreational marijuana, he is ending efforts to pass such a bill through New Jersey’s legislature. Legislators supporting legalization failed to secure enough votes for any hope of the bill to pass.

Sweeney announced that a referendum will be cast in November 2020, which will effectively leave the fate of legalization in the hands of voters over a year from now.
Sweeney also said that he would be moving forward with two similar bills. One bill, which currently has bipartisan support, aims to expand New Jersey’s medical marijuana program.

According to this bill, patients would be able to receive medical marijuana in topical, edibles, and oils. Currently, only minors can receive marijuana in concentrated forms, whereas adult patients can only buy the drug in its raw form.

This bill also removes the two-ounce limit on 30-day supplies that patients can receive for their conditions. Instead, patients would be able to receive marijuana at any quantity prescribed by a physician; if they don’t get a quantity prescribed, their supply could be given at the discretion of a treatment center.

The other proposed bill is aimed at expunging criminal records of individuals found guilty of marijuana possession charges in quantities up to five pounds. What’s unclear about the proposed expungement bill is how it can be worded to clear the names of those convicted of possession and distribution charges, given that possession and distribution of marijuana will be considered crimes until recreational marijuana is legalized

Before Sweeney’s announcement, the state Department of Health announced it has amended New Jersey’s medical marijuana rules, reducing registration fees, adding new medical conditions to qualify, and expanding the forms for consuming medical marijuana.

“These rules solidify key program reforms to ensure greater patient access to this effective therapy,” Health Commissioner Dr. Shereef Elnahal said. “With these changes, the department will be able to add conditions more rapidly, remove barriers for minors and increase supply of product available.”

The rule reduces the registration fee for qualifying patients and their caregivers from $200 to $100, and adds seniors and military veterans to those eligible for the reduced registration fee of $20. It authorizes qualifying patients to designate up to two primary caregivers instead of just one.

The new rules, which will appear in the New Jersey Register on May 20, add seven “debilitating medical conditions” including PTSD, by statutory enactment; and six new conditions that include anxiety, chronic pain of visceral origin, chronic pain related to musculoskeletal disorders, migraines, Tourette syndrome, and Opioid Use Disorder. The rules also expand the forms of medical marijuana available in New Jersey to include oil-based formulations, like vape cartridges.

Additionally, the rule includes the following changes that will go into effect upon publication:

•       Creating a separate permitting system for cultivation, manufacturing and dispensing marijuana for medical purposes, which would increase the available supply of, and patient access to, usable marijuana and allow for specialization in the market

•       Streamlining the process to petition for the addition of “debilitating medical conditions” by removing the requirement that petitions first be referred to the Medicinal Marijuana Review Panel

•       Emphasizing the advisory role of the Medicinal Marijuana Review Panel to include the provision of guidance and recommendations to the State Health Commissioner regarding the medical use of marijuana

•       Removing the requirement of psychiatric evaluation as a condition of physician certification of minors as qualifying patients

There are currently 46,300 patients, 950 doctors and 1,850 caregivers participating in the program.

Patients and caregivers can visit the Medicinal Marijuana Program’s website and refer to the FAQ section for additional information.

An unofficial copy of the rules is available on the Department’s website:

Military drill teams to perform in Liberty State Park as part of Fleet Week

During Fleet Week New York (FWNY), Navy bands, the U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) Silent Drill Team and the Marine Corps (USMC) Battle Color Detachment are scheduled to perform at various locations, May 21-28.

On Sunday, May 26, from  12:15 to 1 p.m. the U.S. Fleet Forces “Brass Band” will perform during the aviation event at Liberty State Park.

Then at 1 p.m. and 4 p.m. in conjunction with the World War I Centennial Commission, there will be special performances by the 369th Experience Band. The band is made up of musicians from a collection of historically black colleges and universities that pay homage to the contributions of African-Americans and Puerto Ricans in World War I through the eyes of the 369th U.S. Infantry Regiment, also known as James Reese Europe’s “Harlem Hellfighters.”

At 1:30 and 3:30 p.m., the USCG Silent Drill Team will perform twice at Liberty State Park.

For up-to-date information on all FWNY events, visit the official FWNY website at

Year Up New York/ New Jersey to Launch New Site at HCCC

Continuing to expand its workforce development program, the nonprofit Year Up New York | New Jersey has signed a memorandum of understanding with Hudson County Community College (HCCC) to launch a new Year Up site at the college, with the first class of students starting in January 2020.

Year Up is free for participants and includes a weekly financial stipend. Students at the HCCC site will be co-enrolled in Year Up and the college, and will earn college credits throughout the year. They will spend the first semester learning technical and professional skills, followed by a semester-long internship at a company like Bank of America, JPMorgan Chase and BNY Mellon.

Currently, Year Up New York | New Jersey provides job training to talented and motivated youth, ages 18-24, without college degrees at campuses in downtown New York (Wall Street) and at Borough of Manhattan Community College. Last year, a federally-sponsored Pathways for Advancing Careers and Education evaluation of Year Up showed a 53 percent increase in initial earnings for young adults randomly assigned to Year Up compared with similar young adults in a control group — the largest impacts on earnings reported to date for a workforce program tested in a randomized controlled trial.

To learn more, visit

Black culture celebrated in new exhibit

“Let Me Tell You a Story,” an exhibit featuring five artists will run until June 23 at Drawing Rooms, 926 Newark Ave, No. T107.

The exhibit features Adebunmi Gbadebo, Ibou Ndoye, Kimberly Becoat, Shoshanna Weinberger and Theda Sandiford, whose works celebrate black culture. Drawing from their experiences, these artists explore historic and contemporary issues of race, gender and identity that African-American, Caribbean-American and mixed race cultures deal with. In these artists’ materials, scale, imagery and message, they proclaim their lives while exposing topics important to the lives of the communities with which they identify. The event is being curated by Anne Trauben.

Gallery hours are 5 to 8 p.m. on Thursdays and Fridays, 1 to 6 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays. On June 22, Kimberly Becoat, Ibou Ndoye and Shoshanna Weinberger will be parking an artist talk program. Adebunmi Gbadebo and Theda Sandiford will take part on June 23.

To find out more, please visit our website:

RWJBarnabas Health Receives Highest Scores for Patient Safety

Jersey City Medical Center was among eight RWJBarnabas Health facilities awarded with “A” Hospital Safety Score ratings by the Leapfrog Group, an independent national nonprofit run by employers and other large purchasers of health benefits, giving the hospital system its best scores.

Among the other A-rated hospitals is Saint Barnabas Medical Center in Livingston, which received its 15th straight “A.”  RWJBarnabas Health facilities who also received an “A” include: Clara Maass Medical Center in Belleville, Newark Beth Israel Medical Center in Newark, Community Medical Center in Toms River, Monmouth Medical Center in Long Branch, Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital (RWJUH)

The spring scores mark Saint Barnabas Medical Center’s 15th A-rating in a row. Saint Barnabas Medical Center is the only hospital in the state and one of only 41 in the country to earn an A in each report since the Leapfrog Surveys began.

The latest scores are also a significant moment for Jersey City Medical Center, marking the hospital’s 14th A-rating.
“This recognition is a testament to the tremendous team efforts of our entire staff, who work together to deliver our patients premier care,” said Michael Prilutsky, president and chief executive officer, Jersey City Medical Center. “We are committed to achieving the highest levels of quality in both care and education at Jersey City Medical Center.”

For more information on the Leapfrog Group and the spring 2019 scores, please