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Turning up the heat -- City enforcing ordinance; over 1,400 complaints for lack of warmth
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Turning up the heat - City enforcing ordinance; over 1,400 complaints for lack of warmth

by Ricardo Kaulessar
Reporter Staff Writer

The apartment or office is an icebox, and the landlord is not doing anything about it.

Jersey City has the answer – enforcement of the city’s heat ordinance.

The ordinance stipulates that in dwellings of two families or more, or a place of employment, heat must be provided as follows (unless stated in a contract):

• Heat no less than 70 degrees has to be supplied from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m.

• Heat no less than 65 degrees from 11 p.m. to 6 a.m.

The ordinance is effect from Oct. 1 to Apr. 30 and from May 1 to Sept. 30 when the temperature dips below 55 degrees.

And this unusually cold weather has made the public more apt to get the ordinance enforced.
_____________

From October 1 to last Wednesday, Jan. 13, the city addressed 1,466 complaints for a lack of heat.
________

City spokesperson Jennifer Morrill said from Oct. 1 to last Wednesday, Jan. 13, the city addressed 1,466 complaints for a lack of heat for both residences and offices. That comes to 14 complaints a day.

Morrill said heat complaints are addressed by the city’s Housing Code Enforcement division, which has 11 employees handling them.

The division has a "heat hotline” at (201) 547-4825 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., and (201) 547-4821 after 4 p.m. where tenants can leave complaints overnight and weekends. The hotline is monitored 24/7 and is responded to accordingly.

Getting the heat back on

Once a complaint is received, an inspector is dispatched to the building to conduct a heat inspection. In addition, Housing Code Enforcement staff contacts the owner and/or property manager, and informs them that a complaint was received and a case has commenced.

“We give them 24 hours to rectify any problems with the heating facilities and we advise them further that they must provide an approved alternative means of temporary heat to their tenants,” Morrill said. “Immediately, we will conduct a daily inspection until the heat is restored.”

Morrill also pointed out that Housing Code Enforcement utilizes digital chart recorders, a device installed in an apartment or office to monitor and record room temperature and humidity history. That enables inspectors to enforce the heat ordinance when there’s a complaint about a landlord shutting off the heat during hours when no inspectors are on duty.

Those owners of buildings in violation of the heat ordinance would receive a summons is issued by our office to appear in Municipal Court. The owner may face a fine of up to $1,250 per day for each apartment or office found to be in violation of the ordinance.

Cold and hot

The employees of a computer firm (who did not want to be named), based in a 10-story office building on Exchange Place in downtown Jersey City, showed the Jersey City Reporter on Jan. 4 how they dealt with a frigid office.

For the 20 or so staff members, it meant space heaters of various sizes providing warmth, along with bundling up in coats and scarves. One showed a digital thermometer reading 54 degrees, even with a space heater near his desk.

Several staff members said the office had been without heat for the large part of the past two months.

One of them said they reached out to the owner of the building several times to rectify the situation but did not get a response.

Another employee said earlier in the day, he decided to call City Hall. He was then referred to the Housing Code Enforcement office.

The next day, the same employee informed the Jersey City Reporter that an inspector had come to his office and within 24 hours, the heat was on.

David Kushner, a managing partner of the company that owns the building, said last week that the loss of the heat on Jan. 4 was not part of an ongoing situation, and he was not aware of any past heating problems. Kushner said the problem was that a tube in the building’s heating system was not working, and the entire system had to be shut down that day in order for the tube to be fixed. He said the building is always in compliance with the city’s heat ordinance to avoid any fines, none of which he says was levied in this case.

Ricardo Kaulessar can be reached at rkaulessar@hudsonreporter.com.

Posted on: 2010/1/17 3:55
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Re: Red Bull Air Race coming to Jersey City waterfront
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An obstacle course in the air
Pilots will participate in major air race in JC

by Ricardo Kaulessar
Reporter Staff Writer

AIRING OUT RACE TO COUNCIL – The City Council heard a presentation at their Monday caucus about the Red Bull Air Race coming to the city. The international series of air races, in which professional pilots navigate a challenging obstacle course in the fastest time, will be held over Liberty State Park on June 19 and 20.

The Red Bull Air Race is coming to Jersey City, possibly bringing thousands of dollars in revenue to area businesses.

The international series of air races, in which professional pilots navigate an obstacle course, will be held in the skies over Liberty State Park on June 19 and 20.

Bruce Bedell, event marketing manager for Red Bull North America, the energy drink company that created the event in 2003, gave a presentation to the City Council at their caucus on Monday.

The council was scheduled at their Wednesday meeting to approve a resolution to “promote and support” the race.

The races are usually flown over water near cities (the course for the Jersey City race will be over the Hudson River), but are also held at airfields or natural wonders. They are accompanied by a supporting program of show flights.
_____________

The Red Bull Air Race will be held over Liberty State Park in Jersey City in June.
________

The competitors use high-performance aerobatic planes that have a wingspan of less than 25 feet and fly at top speeds ranging from 252 to 265 mph. Pilots do not compete for a monetary prize but are paid to compete.

An international audience of millions

In 2009, the races were held in six cities around the world. Over 3.5 million spectators attended the races, and over 300 million followed on television broadcasts internationally.

Bedell said Jersey City will be one of the locations in the 2010 race schedule, which also includes the United Arab Emirates and Australia.

He also described how Red Bull will employ all kinds of safety precautions for the race, as required by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). These will include a 500-foot air buffer to protect any nearby structures from a crash. Bedell pointed out there have been 48 air race events held since 2004 without any major incidents.

Bedell said the race also brings economic benefits to the towns where they have been held. He said that in 2008, $37 million was generated in San Diego and over $50 million for Detroit.

Council members Bill Gaughan and David Donnelly both vouched for the event, having visited Windsor, Ontario last year to view the race when it was held there. Gaughan described the event as “amazing” due to the amount of preparation and management he observed. He compared the race to the Barclays golf tournament that occurred last summer.

“It’s a tremendous event for the city … and it’s a tremendous economic boost,” Gaughan said.

Donnelly said Windsor police officers told him the race was one of the “easiest to maintain.”

City Business Administrator Brian O’Reilly asked Bedell about Jersey City being mentioned in the banners for the air race. Bedell said that recognition is in the contract that Red Bull and the city were expected to sign shortly.

Ricardo Kaulessar can be reached at rkaulessar@hudsonreporter.com.

Posted on: 2010/1/17 3:52
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Re: Save the Food Trucks of Jersey City
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Quote:

heights wrote:
Maybe now you will understand how these 3rd World Asian foreign owned fly by nights operate their so called food establishments. They are setting back the U.S. health system over two hundred years. [...]


Never read Upton Sinclair's book, "The Jungle", in high school, heights? The US of A is able to sell meats, fish and poultry to us together with the USDA, FDA, corporate slaughterhouses, meat packers and corporate farming that winds up in any restaurant that continue to have filth, bacteria, anti-biotics, vermin droppings and more that are commonplace even among the so-called finest establishments. We hardly need look to "3rd World Asian foreign owned fly by nights" to aid us in what we already do consistently. I'm happy to eat from any of the food trucks I see too.

Where do all these xenophobes come from anyway?

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Posted on: 2010/1/17 3:51
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Rival Gangs -- Possible ‘revenge killings’ continue with two murders in 24 hours
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Young men under siege in Jersey City
Possible ‘revenge killings’ continue with two murders in 24 hours

by Ricardo Kaulessar
Reporter Staff Writer

Is crime out of control in Jersey City, and are rival gangs making the situation worse with so-called “revenge killings”?

In 2009, out of 28 murders in the city, at least 10 claimed male victims under the age of 25.

Last year, Hudson County Prosecutor Edward DeFazio said some of the shootings may have been gang related, possibly for revenge. Several of them occurred in the city’s housing projects.

Apparently, the problem is continuing.

Last weekend, three men under the age of 35 were shot in separate incidents – two of them in cases of what the prosecutor believes were premeditated murder. A suspect was arrested Thursday in one of the murders.

Jersey City Police Chief Thomas Comey said last week that homicides of the young men were “disconcerting.” However, he also said some of them were a product of larger “societal” issues and could not be completely kept under control by police.
_____________

“There is certainly a gang component in many of these cases.” – Edward DeFazio
________

“Some of these homicides are gang-related and some are connected, and we are trying to respond to them and take the proactive measures,” Comey said. “However, if some of them are target-driven, then you can’t guard someone 24-7.”

Comey also said the increasing proliferation of handguns is a problem. He did say that various anti-gang crime initiatives were put into effect in 2009 but could not get into specifics because they are “security sensitive.”

Comey also defended the performance of his police force, saying in the past year, they were able to decrease the number of firearms used in both assaults and robberies.

Shot ‘execution style’

The first murder of last weekend occurred when armed gunmen entered a Wegman Parkway home around 3:15 a.m. Friday morning and allegedly shot Ronald Jordan, 21, as he was watching TV. Jordan lived elsewhere, however, in the Marion Gardens public housing complex on Dales Avenue. DeFazio said on Monday that he was staying with an acquaintance when he was shot.

DeFazio said multiple shots were fired by one of the gunmen and one shot was fired by the second gunman.

On Friday, First Assistant Prosecutor Guy Gregory said that 22-year-old Jersey City Dante Bland, of Stevens Avenue, was arrested afternoon in connection with Jordan’s murder. Gregory said a gun was recovered when Bland was arrested, but did not say if it was used in Jordan’s shooting.

Gregory also said a second shooter is still being sought in Jordan’s murder.

The second murder that day happened around 11:30 p.m., when Stevens Avenue resident Ezekiel Sims, 31, was shot once “execution style” in a stairwell in the in the Marion Gardens public housing complex, DeFazio said.

First Assistant Prosecutor Guy Gregory said on Wednesday that it is believed that Sims was visiting the complex, but it could not be confirmed.

The two victims knew each other, according to DeFazio.

When asked about the connection to last year’s killings, DeFazio said, “There is certainly a gang component in many of these cases. Still, there is no excuse for the wanton violence.”

DeFazio expressed support for the efforts of local law enforcement to prevent these gang-related shootings as well as frustration at their continuation.

“Jersey City police and the prosecutor’s office are working together and trying a number of initiatives to crack down on this continuing pattern of violence,” DeFazio said. “But when these homicides occur inside places and there’s a lack of cooperation that is so prevalent in these cases, it becomes a problem solving them.”

Anyone with information on the shootings can contact the Prosecutor’s Office Homicide Squad at (201) 915-1345.

A different story

In a third incident this past weekend, an undercover Jersey City police officer Sunday night shot 18-year-old Kwadir Felton on Dwight Street around 8:30 p.m. Police said Felton allegedly attempted to rob the officer, who was sitting in his unmarked police car.

Newspaper reports have said that Felton may be blind for life.

DeFazio said the case has been referred to the NJ Attorney General’s Office, whose Shooting Response Team is investigating it. The undercover officer was working with the New Jersey State Police at the time of the shooting, investigating and conducting surveillance regarding gang activity on Dwight Street, he said.

Investigators allege that Felton approached the driver’s side of the car with a 9 mm. handgun and pointed a gun at the officer. The officer fired one round through the window with his .45-caliber handgun, striking Felton in the head. He was taken to Jersey City Medical Center.

Felton was charged with aggravated assault, attempted robbery, unlawful possession of a handgun, and possession of a handgun for an unlawful purpose. Superior Court Judge Fred J. Theemling Jr. set bail for Felton at $500,000 cash.

In addition, a newspaper report said that on Sunday night, a group of men coming to visit Felton at the hospital were arrested on weapons charges after police found a Glock semi-automatic gun in their car.

Attorney General spokesman Peter Aseltine said his office’s investigation is continuing with assistance from the Hudson County Prosecutor’s Office.

Ricardo Kaulessar can be reached at rkaulessar@hudsonreporter.com.

Posted on: 2010/1/17 3:43
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Re: Property taxes likely to go up again.... a lot!
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Home away from home


We should also write to the Jersey Journal to get the word out towards a protest at City Hall at the next council meeting. We would need to pack City Hall Chambers, other wise the council will just laugh at residents and lack of support against them.

Quote:

West wrote:
Quote:




We should start planning for it now.

We need to get the word out. I can flyer the houses on my block.

Is it too late to get on the agenda for the next meeting?

Any other ideas how people can mobilize?

TAX PROTEST JANUARY 27, 2010 CITY HALL

Posted on: 2010/1/17 1:49
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Re: Cafe Nia?
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Home away from home


Never been, but looks like a great place in a not-so-great location.

Posted on: 2010/1/17 1:48
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COMCAST
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Home away from home


I had an excellent promo from Comcast that was due to expire so I called them up to see what they could do. First off I was very impressed with how the CSR's now answer the phone, giving you both their first name and ID # before they ask how they can help you. I hate getting a mush-mouth, whisperer when you ask for their name and ID # so you can track if they follow-up, so very impressed with their new approach.

So here's the deal I had:

*Internet
*Digital Preferred
*HBO, Strz & Showtime

TOTAL: $120

I use a VoIP phone, (not their's)and pay $34 for US, Canada and Western Europe.

So anyway, the CSR asks if I've received any Verizon FIOS lit, emails or mail and I say all of the above plus this site has it's own thread where the local Verizon guy promotes FIOS. She says let me get back to you. So I wait about 5 minutes and she comes back and tells me they are extending my expired promo for another 6 months. Great Comcast!

Oh, and thanks Mark, Verizon FIOS & JCList Webbie too.

Posted on: 2010/1/17 1:44
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Re: Play Groups & Classes for Toddlers?
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Home away from home


> Take a look at the Jersey City Moms meetup group.
> They've got stuff going on almost every day for all
> age ranges. http://www.meetup.com/jerseycitymoms/

Wow, read their pages of rules, officious, like a playgroup for army wives.

No slouching at the back there, strollers in line, forward MARCH!

Robin.

Posted on: 2010/1/17 0:59
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Re: Red Bull Air Race coming to Jersey City waterfront
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Posted on: 2010/1/17 0:55
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Re: Property taxes likely to go up again.... a lot!
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Quote:

ianmac47 wrote:
Its insane to think that a $1,000,000+ brownstone with an assessed tax value of 1/3 or less of that shouldn't be paying more in property taxes. Suburban homeowners with homes worth less than half that often pay $20,000+. And that is why the city is falling apart; the tax revenue is not high enough to pay for the services everyone wants. Its easy and fun to point to cronyism as the root of the city's financial trouble, but paving streets costs money, painting crosswalks costs money, hiring an extra beat officer costs money. Downtown properties paying taxes on an assessment from 1988 are not paying their proportionate share of the tax burden.

Plus those suburban towns are quite small compared to Jersey City. Add the population density along with multi-family dwellings utilizing roads and services at a constant pace. Every town should should be equiped to render services in relation to it's geographical size and the population growth. More money should be rolling in from converted buildings to condos prior to the conversions it was a single tax check per building now it is a check per apartment. You also have to condo apartment buildings that have gone up in the last 20 years the source of these tax checks should flow like milk & honey. I think we as a voting population should be questioning the canidates on how they will handle finances when they are elected to office. We should also fire specfic questions at them to see where their heads are at in terms of certain financial budget aspects. It's unfortunate that a majority of the voting public isn't as educated or intuitive as they ought to be it is our money that is being allocated for the wrong reasons...we have a say where our tax dollars go. The reason Joe Shmo isn't mayor of J.C. is because he wasn't on the ballot you have to be voted in by the people WE are still the foundation of choice.

Posted on: 2010/1/16 23:03
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Re: Jersey City's schools again do poorly on tests; Bayonne's do well
Just can't stay away
Just can't stay away


And your point is???
They should make a lot less?
I assume the 103k is the principal. How at. The years of service provided by these folks.
I had a teacher that retired from this school. She was by far the most intelligent and qualified educator I have ever encountered. She changed my life and enriched my understanding of literature more than any college professor. She should have been at Mt. Holyoke or Smith.
-I know she made a huge difference and should have earned 500K.

There are gun battles at this school. How do you suggest that activity is curtailed?
Maybe you could ask the overpaid police officers how they recommend the overpaid teachers handle this.

Let's just rail against everyone, throw them all in the same bucket and disparage them. Pay them what the security guards earn so we can get the best and brightest

This is some of the most ill thougt, mean spirited crap spewed by hate.

I never hear solutions!!!!!

Posted on: 2010/1/16 22:42
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Re: Mapping murder:Jersey City had 1 more than in 2008
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Just can't stay away


The citizens could insist that the city hire David Kennedy as a consultant. A wealth of information about him can be found on the Internet.

Posted on: 2010/1/16 22:26
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Re: Play Groups & Classes for Toddlers?
Not too shy to talk
Not too shy to talk


Take a look at the Jersey City Moms meetup group. They've got stuff going on almost every day for all age ranges. http://www.meetup.com/jerseycitymoms/

Posted on: 2010/1/16 22:19
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Re: Play Groups & Classes for Toddlers?
Home away from home
Home away from home


No problem! I have a 14 mo and a 3 yo so we are well versed with toddler activities. When the weather is warmer you'll meet lots of moms at Van Vorst Park (it's next to the library). Good luck!

Posted on: 2010/1/16 21:57
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Re: Play Groups & Classes for Toddlers?
Newbie
Newbie


Thanks, snowflake!! VERY helpful! I like the sounds of the Downtown Babies class. I'll certainly PM you if I have any questions!!

Posted on: 2010/1/16 21:50
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Re: Play Groups & Classes for Toddlers?
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Home away from home


That shopping center can be shady, but it's perfectly safe during the day for Little Gym classes.

In Newport, there's the Puppetonia show in the Swim and Fitness center. You can just drop in, I think it's something like 15 bucks. Music Together also has classes in Newport and Paulus Hook...not sure where you live but the one in Paulus Hook is at the Case Museum.

A Sound Start is on Wayne Street...I've never been but know people who like it. I think there is a music class called Downtown Babies which has classes at Betty's Bassinette. The person who runs that also runs Wild at Play in Newport.

The Library on Montgomery has Storytime, but I'm not sure what day it is. I think it might be Tuesdays.

There is also a mom's group on meetup.com.

You can PM me if you have any questions. Welcome to JC!

Posted on: 2010/1/16 21:48
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Re: Wayne St - Bike stolen right out of my apartment
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near the corner of Wayne and Barrow.

as for the question regarding layout of building... it's a ground floor apt in a brownstone. Metal gate to enter the basement floor building, long hallway, then 1 door at the end which is the front door of the apartment. The bike was hanging up in the hallway.

Nobody has any business other then the owner of the building and my wife and I for being in the hallway. Someone must've known that there were bikes in the hallway (fortunately they only got one).

Only people that are even in there besides us are utility guys such as the meter reader.

Posted on: 2010/1/16 20:58
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Re: Play Groups & Classes for Toddlers?
Newbie
Newbie


Thanks!! I'll definitely check them out. I heard about the Little Gym, but that area of town seemed a little seedy. I'll check it out, though!

Posted on: 2010/1/16 20:39
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Re: Jersey City's schools again do poorly on tests; Bayonne's do well
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Home away from home


The Jersey Journal ran a story a while back, perhaps 5 years ago, it listed the average salary of teachers in Hudson County. Surprise, Bayonne teachers made the lowest salary of any public teacher in Hudson County.

Posted on: 2010/1/16 20:19
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Re: Jersey City's schools again do poorly on tests; Bayonne's do well
Just can't stay away
Just can't stay away


There is a website that lists the salary of every public school teacher and administrator
http://php.app.com/edstaff/search.php

For example, Lincoln HS has 130 total staff (the site lists 138 but there are duplicates)
For the 2008 - 2009 year
105 Teachers
25 Admin and support (e.g. Nurses, social workers, counselors)

The average non teacher salary is 92,246 (max = 142,440, min = 48,923)
The average teacher salary is 70,051 (max = 103,260, min = 47,323)

Personally, I disagree with putting the teacher's names on the website, but I do like the transparency it provides.

Does anyone know the contracted number of working days, sick days, etc for JC teachers?

Posted on: 2010/1/16 19:56
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Re: Mapping murder:Jersey City had 1 more than in 2008
Not too shy to talk
Not too shy to talk


I am sickened by the number of people killed in our city... something needs to be done to re-educate the people in our city to move away from a mentality of violance. I don't get how this happens and why people are so willing to kill each other... I am very saddened by the statistics..

What can we do to stop this from happening?

Posted on: 2010/1/16 19:31
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Re: Big Plans For Trump Plaza Residences Jersey City in 2010
Not too shy to talk
Not too shy to talk


It's all just marketing plans to get them to sell finally...
It's a new building.. they shouldn't have to redecorate/remarket yet

Posted on: 2010/1/16 19:27
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Re: Wayne St - Bike stolen right out of my apartment
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Quote:

Rodney wrote:
shameless plug.. Winter sale all in stock locks 10% off... along with some other great savings... come check us out

I would go for the Kryptonite lock it has a long heavy duty link chain attached to a thick U-lock. It uses a key and they give you an insurance guarantee to cover the loss of the bike if the bike gets stolen an account of the lock getting cracked

Posted on: 2010/1/16 18:52
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Re: Play Groups & Classes for Toddlers?
Just can't stay away
Just can't stay away


Music for Ardvarks is a great class. Check Hoboken Ardvarks on the web, but he runs a class at the Karate place on Newark Ave, but a quick LightRail ride into Hoboken worked for me. Also, the Little Gym by Pathmark on Grand Street is ok. Not the best, but it's a good place for the kids to run around with other kids for an hour.....

Posted on: 2010/1/16 18:08
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Re: Embankment- Update Thread
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Bump! Call 1st thing Monday Morning!!

Quote:

BrightMoment wrote:

Embankment Preservation Coalition-Rail Corridors Bill

Posted on: 2010/1/16 18:01
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Play Groups & Classes for Toddlers?
Newbie
Newbie


New to JC...Does anyone have any recommendations on where I can find play groups for kids - a 16-month old? Or does anyone know of any good classes or places to meet other parents? I'm looking for something near downtown/Newport/Paulus Hook area? I'm even willing to host a play group if anyone is interested?

Posted on: 2010/1/16 17:41
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Re: Jersey City's schools again do poorly on tests; Bayonne's do well
Just can't stay away
Just can't stay away


That's abt. 125K per position citywide. Juxtapose that with a corporate heirarchy. It's maybe middle management level?
So again, what should these folks make 75K, 80K.
It took most of my teaching friends 30-35 years to go to top salary around 85K. Think about that....... and they are GREAT TEACHERS!
Am I missing something?
Corporate America screwed everyone by reducing/eliminating pensions, benefits etc...and paying the executive level ridiculous money. They appointed all their friends to the board and went to town.
Don't blame these folks because their union stood up for them.

Posted on: 2010/1/16 16:10
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Re: Jersey City's schools again do poorly on tests; Bayonne's do well
Home away from home
Home away from home


Quote:

ogden1 wrote:
Remember when the state took over and installed Elena Scambia, a very qualified professional.

Well...what changed.

Did you ever look at other superintendent's salaries? Why should Epps or anyone else make less? This job is not a piece of cake.


As far as segregating kid's....enlighten me.......put all the stupid ones together? who makes that determination?
This is laughable. There are gifted and talented programs in schools now. There is McNair Academic. So I guess we just put the unteachables somewhere and let them fail?
It is very complex my friend and your solution is very shaky.


What I was suggesting was separating disruptive kids from the rest of the school population. The disruptive kids need special attention. You can think of them as gifted, if you'd like. In the process, you get an environment more conducive to learning for the rest of the students and one in which teachers are able to do their jobs. It's a win/win. The disruptive kids get specialized attention, the rest of the students get a better learning environment.

And with respect to Epps, I just don't see the justification. It's a big job to spend a lot of money running a school district into mediocrity? I might agree with you if it was a matter of running a mediocre school district on a tight budget, or a good school district with a big budget, but neither of these are our case.

Posted on: 2010/1/16 15:44
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Re: Jersey City's schools again do poorly on tests; Bayonne's do well
Not too shy to talk
Not too shy to talk


The Jersey City Board of Education currently pays out almost $5 million dollars in executive salaries alone. That covers 39 people= 12 special assistants, 9 associate superintendent, 1 executive assistant and it goes on. The nearly $5million doesn't include their bonuses or stipends. All of this while enrollment has declined and the schools have shown no improvement what so ever. Its criminal.

Posted on: 2010/1/16 15:34
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Re: Wayne St - Bike stolen right out of my apartment
Newbie
Newbie


shameless plug.. Winter sale all in stock locks 10% off... along with some other great savings... come check us out

Posted on: 2010/1/16 14:25
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