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Re: Downtown Jersey City -- as seen by college students - Rutgers Online
Quite a regular
Quite a regular

Wow...she managed to put us all very neatly into our own box.

I couldn't help but chuckle when I read "They seem to reluctantly clutch their Dunkin Donuts coffee, resenting it for not being Starbucks or another fancy brand..."!

Posted on: 2006/11/12 9:05

Jersey City crime down in all categories except rape
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Home away from home

Crime down in all categories except rape

Some politicians heartened, others skeptical after stats released for first nine months of 2006

Ricardo Kaulessar -- Hudson Reporter -- 11/10/2006

During a press conference to announce a new emergency services communications center on Monday (see story in Hudson Reporter -, the city announced that most violent and non-violent crime statistics in Jersey City were down during the first nine months of this year, compared with the same period last year.

From January through September 2006, there were 20 homicides, compared to 26 in 2005. That represents a 23 percent decrease.

Assaults were down from 3,257 last year to 3,058 this year, and robberies are down from 1,147 to 1,211. Both of those categories represent a 5 percent decrease.

However, rape is up from 34 last year to 51 this year. In the non-violent crime category, burglary went down 23 percent, auto theft 20 percent and larceny theft down 4 percent.

Police Chief Thomas Comey hailed the decreases as the result of active patrolling by the police.

"We are getting more police on the streets in the police cars and on bikes," said Comey. "And we are hitting hot spots hard and will continue to do so as long as we have Compstat." Compstat is a police management system that has been in operation in the Jersey City Police Department since March, with the commanders of the city's four districts continually meeting with top brass.

Comey went to say that he was "not completely satisfied and wanted crime numbers go down further" and that the police will be seeing 45 new officers in December.

When asked why rape had increased, Comey said he would talk to the Sex Crimes unit for more details, but could not be reached for a followup by press time.

The announcement came on the heels of the city's most recent homicide on the afternoon of Oct. 29 in Jersey City Heights, when shopkeeper Fidelina Claros was killed during a botched robbery of her deli.


Not everyone was immediately excited by the statistics last week.

City Councilman Viola Richardson, a former Jersey City police officer, was skeptical.

"I need to study these numbers further, but I find hard it to believe that crime has gone down, said Richardson, as she cited a triple shooting that occurred at the intersection of Union Street and Martin Luther King Drive three days before the groundbreaking.

And what do the residents of Jersey City think about crime in their town?

Pam is a Downtown Jersey City resident and is a member of Downtown Jersey City Watch, a grassroots organization made up of downtown residents who have all been victims of crime. They patrol various Downtown streets with the help of the Guardian Angels.

Pam said she was only made aware of the decreases in crime announced by the police after speaking to the Jersey City Reporter. But she said she hoped those numbers would be broken down further to show the numbers in each of the city's six wards.

Pam bases her belief on what her fellow Downtown Jersey City Watch members have been seeking as they have been given stats verbally by the police at their monthly meetings but "not in writing."

"If there true decrease in crime, we would like to see exactly where the decreases such as in various areas of Downtown and a breakdown of how many robberies occurred in Harsimus Cove in January as opposed to August," said Pam.

She also said she knew of some members "who will say there is an increase in crime, and some who will say there is a decrease."

But Pam did acknowledge she has seen an increased police presence in her neighborhood when going out on patrols with fellow members.

Fellow Downtown resident Dale Hardman also echoed Pam's sentiments in asking for exact numbers.

Hardman said in an e-mail, "I hope that the release of crime stats for January-September 2006 will be made available to the DJCW in detailed form showing stats for the East District by each of the [district's] Zones 1 through 6, and that comparable stats for Jan-September 2005 will be released for all incidents reported as well."

Hardman said that both himself and City Councilman Steven Fulop have asked for the same breakdown of crime numbers.

Lavern Webb Washington, a lifelong city resident, was dismissive. Washington is a constant presence at City Council meetings where echoes the same refrain: "We need jobs and recreation!"

She said there has been a significant uptick in crime especially amongst young people because there are few jobs and other opportunities to get them off the streets. She also heads the Randolph Avenue and Harmon Street Block Association.

"There's still killings, there's still kids hanging out on street corners," said Washington. "There are 10, 15 people calling me everyday saying 'Can you find me any jobs?' "

Politicians want more than just numbers

Both Fulop and City Council President Mariano Vega agreed that there was progress in terms of the police fighting crime, but said they wanted more.

Fulop said he was impressed with Comey being more proactive than his predecessor, but that "crime numbers are still too high."

"I can say there is definitely a police presence and it is welcome by the community, but there's still a lot of work that has to be done on stopping robberies," said Fulop. "I wouldn't say it is a success but there is movement in the right direction. The numbers are still too high."

Vega's wife Sonia was the victim of a mugging earlier this year. But he was heartened by the results.

"I have no reason to doubt the numbers," he said. "Our police force is professional law enforcement, and I don't think it would be in their best interest to give false numbers, and I hope the numbers continue to go down," said Vega.

Ricardo Kaulessar can be reached at

The hard numbers

The crime stats released by the Jersey City Police Department was culled from incidents reported during the period of January-September 2006 and then submitted to the State Police for verification. They are compared to the numbers from January-September 2005.

Homicides: 26 - 2005; 20 - 2006

Robbery: 1211 - 2005; 1147 - 2006

Assault: 3257 - 2005; 3058 - 2006

Rape: 34 - 2005: 51 - 2006

Burglary: 1687 - 2005: 1304 - 2006

Larceny: 3497 - 2005; 3359 - 2006

Auto Theft: 1475 - 2005; 1183 - 2006

Posted on: 2006/11/12 8:53

Curing what ails the Jersey City Medical Center - Chicago firm calls for cuts in salaries, services
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Curing what ails the Jersey City Medical Center
Report by Chicago firm calls for cuts in salaries, services

Ricardo Kaulessar - Hudson Reporter - 11/10/2006

KEEPING IT RUNNING – The Jersey City Medical Center located on Grand Street.
What would it take to get the Jersey City Medical Center (JCMC) to be a healthier financial institution?

A report prepared in October by the Chicago-based Wellspring Partners calls for cutting staff and various services programs and attracting more private care physicians and a better paying clientele.

The report also points out that LibertyHealth Systems, the parent company for the Medical Center, will need to cut 212 full-time jobs with 65 coming from the Jersey City Medical Center.

According to the report, issued Oct. 10 but only recently made public, the Medical Center is facing increasing gaps in their $360 million budget over the next three years - $20M in 2006, $48M in 2007 and $66 million in 2008 - even after receiving state funding.

The report goes on to say if improvements aren't made to the financial situation of the LibertyHealth System, it will run out of cash in early 2007.

The report states, "The System is dependent on extraordinary state funding indefinitely" and "Given the charity care volume at JCMC, additional state support may be required."

Charity care is reimbursable care that a hospital provides to patients without insurance or funds to pay.

The report also outlines $34 million in state aid that is promised for FY 2007 and 2008, but says that there will still be a $32 million hole in the budget.

Fifteen million dollars of this financial hole could be filled through staff cuts, better collection of bills and restructuring contracts, with another $17 million to be supplemented through cutting a number of programs.

Why it was prepared

Wellspring Partners began preparing the report after former Jersey City Medical Center head Dr. Jonathan Metsch requested it in order to satisfy a state mandate.

However, Metsch resigned after the report's findings were completed. He has thusfar declined to comment on his reasons.

Dealing with charity care

Alan Marcus, the spokesperson for the Jersey City Medical Center, spoke last week on one key problem afflicting the hospital - charity care.

"There are things that the hospital can do or any organization can do to get better," he said, "but the problem is not going to be resolved at the Jersey City Medical Center or at other health care institutions until the issue of how to deliver care to those [poor] populations are better dealt with."

The Medical Center averaged $77 million in charity care expenses per year for the past three years. The state gave the center a little over $52 million in charity care funds last year.

"In the case of the Jersey City Medical Center, 64 percent of the patients are Medicaid and charity care, and there's not enough [paying] patients," said George Whetsell, the founder of Wellspring Partners. Whetsell also said there was not enough money coming from other sources such as Medicare and managed care programs.

Rosemary McFadden, vice chair of LibertyHealth, pointed out that the state's funding of hospitals has been frozen at a specific amount since 2002, which creates a deficit.

But she said the hospital has to fulfill its goal as a healthcare facility - even at a cost.

"That's always been the mission of the Jersey City Medical treat anybody who shows up in our emergency room," said McFadden.

Whetsell also pointed that the Medical Center incurred other expenses from running the ambulance service for Jersey City, a training center for new doctors, and its designation as a Level 2 Trauma medical facility that provides 24-hour trauma surgery for adults and children.

Making the improvements

McFadden said the facility must court private physicians to send their patients to the hospital.

"We realize we have to work on improving our relationships with private doctors [because] many of their patients are being sent to other hospitals rather than to the Medical Center," said McFadden.

She said the Medical Center will soon build a nearby complex for private practitioners, so they can send their patients a short distance.

McFadden also said a number of staff in top positions have either left or will be cut back because they were hired specifically to get the current hospital built and smooth the transition from the old hospital building to the new one.

Ricardo Kaulessar can be reached at

Posted on: 2006/11/12 8:43

Lincoln Park - 5 in masks posing as cops rob 3. -- Sure that's what happened.
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Home away from home

5 in masks posing as cops rob 3
Saturday, November 11, 2006

Three Jersey City men were mugged early yesterday morning by five masked men posing as police officers on Bentley Avenue and Kennedy Boulevard, according to police reports.

The men were robbed of a total of $590 in cash and two cell phones, police said.

At 12:50 a.m., the three men - ages 35, 20, and 33 - were standing on the corner when a silver Mercedes with New Jersey plates pulled up and five men dressed in black jumped out, wearing masks and flashing badges, reports said.

They ordered the victims against the wall, frisked them and demanded if they had any drugs, police said.

All three victims were led to believe the men were police officers, and they did not resist, police said.

After emptying the victims' pockets the masked robbers got back into the Mercedes and drove off, police said.

The three men jumped into the car of one victim's girlfriend, who had been waiting for them nearby, and attempted to follow the Mercedes, but they lost track of the car at the entrance to Route 280, reports said.

Posted on: 2006/11/12 8:38

Edited by GrovePath on 2006/11/12 9:29:12

Downtown Jersey City -- as seen by college students - Rutgers Online
Home away from home
Home away from home

Downtown Jersey City
By Robin Laverne Wilson -- 10/2006 -- Rutgers Online

The armpit of metropolitan New York is cleaning itself up, applying some deodorant and rapidly becoming attractive to post-9/11 evacuees and transplant pseudo-New Yorkers. A walk through downtown Jersey City reveals a unique hybrid of Brooklyn-style brownstones and historic districts, embattled, old warehouses becoming lofts and artists’ studios, the remains of ethnic enclaves, impending new condo towers and a waterside mini-mirror of Battery Park City known as Pavonia-Newport. On the waterfront, a 10-minute walk away, you can see the New York City skyline and feel as though you can touch where the Twin Towers once stood.

Formerly known as “Jersey Shitty,” and a once-embittered urban center in the shadow of New York City, Jersey City is ironically the true home of the Statue of Liberty. But the freedom to walk safely through its downtown was once a dream.

Crime here may be substantially lower than in recent decades, but it is not gone. Still, the denseness of businesses and residences in commuter-laden downtown Jersey City pushes people out onto the sidewalks. And the infusion of new people, with grassroots community-building initiatives alongside surging property values, has shaken up the crime-ridden status quo. The new blood has taken a consistent stand against knuckleheads roving the streets.

The Port Authority Trans-Hudson commuter train, better known as the PATH, is the artery that gives downtown Jersey City its ultimate appeal. Transplants like me, who are true New Yorkers at heart, acknowledge that it is significantly cheaper on this side of the Hudson. We rely on this 24-hour lifeline that runs from Newark to Jersey City to midtown Manhattan, for only $1.50 each way. The trains are mostly on time, the stations are clean, and the anchor is the Grove Street stop, where blight and boom, apathy and ambition meet and respectfully greet at the pedestrian intersections of Grove Street with Jersey and Newark avenues.

Weekday mornings until about 9:30, the Grove Street station bustles with commuters departing in both directions. The yuppies insert their full-fare MetroCards in the turnstiles for the World Trade Center train, which reopened in 2004. They seem to reluctantly clutch their Dunkin Donuts coffee, resenting it for not being Starbucks or another fancy brand and for reminding the upwardly mobile corporate types that they have not fully overtaken the blue-collar ways of this town, where many commute to their midtown Manhattan jobs via the 33rd Street train.

The artists, intellectuals and bohemians drink Spanish bodega coffee with milk or herbal tea while listening to their iPods. Hopeful students, jaded urban youth and hardened laborers insert their PATH Quick Cards and also wait on the other side of the station for the Newark train. Almost all have a paper in tow: the free commuter papers, amNewYork and Metro, or the New York Post, which is double the price for being 10 minutes away from New York. With that exception, the station is almost as New York City as it is New Jersey.

Above ground, locals raise the gates and prepare for business. Construction resumes on the Grove Pointe Towers that loom over the station entrance; the residential high-rise will be the newest and most inland of local developments. Homeless men and women emerge from sleeping in front of the Employment Commission to resume their duty as dirty but benign neighbors. They sit across from the liquor store with the pigeons in the plaza all day, waiting for scraps of food or change. Women haul shopping carts. There’s the old Latino man who voluntarily directs traffic on behalf of pedestrians outside the station’s busy intersection and tells everyone, “I love you, man!” John, the old vet with a bum leg whom the Veterans’ Administration has abandoned, drinks to euthanize the pain. He always has a kind word and rarely asks for spare change.

City Hall is two blocks away. Its classic marble architecture and courtyard are neither inviting nor foreboding. It just stands calmly, a landmark with little bustle, as a witness to the quiet revolution of commerce and dining on the south side of Grove Street. The newest establishments invite the mid- to moderate income sets. At Marco & Pepe, you could convince yourself that you are in Chelsea, brunching at a sidewalk café complete with white tablecloth, napkins, unpronounceable menu items and little dogs parked by the table. The Merchant, right across from City Hall, fills in for a typical bland Wall Street pub—dark wood interior, sports on the televisions and ’80s rock playing on the jukebox. Pedestrian traffic feels imminently foreboding south of The Merchant, as it is not as well lit and the blocks are patchy. But the pub’s late hours help stave off trouble for the sparse sidewalk traffic to the end of the block.

Starving artists and thrifty types shun the idea of Jersey food at New York prices and instead opt for the local ethnic fare. Shadman has some of the best Pakistani food outside of Jersey City’s Little India district. Ibby’s Falafel is addictive, and related to the proprietor of the renowned Mamoun’s in Greenwich Village. Across the station on the corner, Hard Grove Café remains steadfast and popular despite health code violations that temporarily shut it down in 2004. North of Newark Avenue, Grove turns into Manila Street in honor of the local Filipino community down the block. La Conguita restaurant on one corner and its grocery store directly across serve the neighborhood with inexpensive and savory Latino food from across the Americas. This corner remains busy, as the bright street lights, restaurants and residences provide comfort for the late-night commuters returning home.

By 5 p.m., Mexican families with flower carts wait outside the train station. Whoever has something to say or sell hawks his flyers to the steady stream of returning people. Newark and Jersey avenues are now at their busiest. It is mostly businesses, with about half of the buildings with residents upstairs. Despite the boom, many buildings a block or two from the train station inexplicably still hold the same “Lofts for Sale or Rent” signs since I arrived three years ago. What is potentially the most prime real estate in the metropolitan area is often overlooked for the flashy new condos by the water, away from the locals.

Between 7 and 9 p.m., the gates start coming down. Most of the pedestrians briskly walk home, while the extra careful or distant take a $5 cab ride from the station. Newark Avenue remains brightly lit and populated enough to be relatively safe until past midnight, now that a city ordinance has been passed to allow restaurants and bars to remain open until 2 a.m. Afterward, a few 24-hour bodegas, the late-night halal chicken shack and intermittent vehicular traffic keep you from feeling abandoned. I park my bike in front of the bohemian bar, LITM, knowing that it will be there when I return and offer me a speedy ride home. Yuppies determined to keep their property values up refuse to succumb to the occasional spate of crime, and respond with signs to inform the community of incidents and effectively keep watch. As a result, police patrols by car and on foot have increased, and the levels of yahooing and loitering have significantly decreased.

The rest of Jersey City is miles away from the influx of real estate, commerce and finance in the downtown district. Even one stop down from Grove Street, at Journal Square, the blight still trumps any attempts at a boom. Downtown Jersey City is the great compromise: one foot in New Jersey, one foot in New York City, and the best of both.

Robin Laverne Wilson is an Honors College interdisciplinary major senior
at Rutgers-Newark.


Also a Rutgers Online Photo essay on the
Indian Market, Jersey City
By Binita Shah

The Indian market in Jersey City, on Newark Avenue near Journal Square, provides fresh fruits and vegetables for Indians, Pakistanis and Americans of all national backgrounds and races.

For Indian immigrants, the stores and stands offer both the products that can be found in any American market and special items, such as tindora, a green vegetable that is prepared with curry and served with rice. The merchants also speak the languages of Indian immigrants, such as Hindi or Gujarati. Nearby are Indian restaurants and a Hindu temple.

For me, the crowds and vitality of the market capture the essence of Indian life in Jersey City. That's why I photographed them.

If you want to visit the market, which is open daily except Monday and is busiest from noon to 7 pm, take the PATH train to Journal Square and walk down Kennedy Boulevard to its intersection with Newark Avenue.

Binita Shah, a business major at Rutgers-Newark, lives in Jersey City.

Posted on: 2006/11/12 8:30

Edited by GrovePath on 2006/11/12 9:27:02

Re: COMPSTAT: Violent crime down in ALL of Jersey City from 2005 to 2006 -- but crime by Juveniles i
Home away from home
Home away from home


GrovePath wrote:

Jersey City needs to think out of the box -- I also think we need free city wide wi-fi!

GP, you might get your wish sooner than you think!

Posted on: 2006/11/10 23:53

Re: Jersey City developers defy housing slowdown - A dozen rental and condo projects under way downt
Home away from home
Home away from home

I wonder about the number of people who want to pay >$500K++ for a condo in JC as I walk around and look at all of the new construction. My take on it is that relatively free development is the non-coercive means of providing more affordable housing.

I'm sure that many buildings will end up as rentals but let's face it - more supply = lower cost.


PHResident wrote:
The housing slow down is referring to sales, not necessarily rentals. There aren't less people who need places to live, there are simply less prospective home owners.

I suspect that some of the buildings that might have been conceived as condos will flip to rentals before it is all over.

Believe me, I worked for a fairly large real estate developer in NYC a few years ago. Once the demand for more rentals (versus condos) rises in the city, so will the rents themselves.

It will still be cheaper to rent a place over here.

Posted on: 2006/11/10 22:53

Re: Journal Square: Time for city to release funds it is holding for Landmark Loew's Jersey Theater.
Home away from home
Home away from home

I think that as the JSQ developes and more classier restaurants open up, then people will want to stay in JSQ as well as JC instead of always going to Manhattan. But there are options in JSQ now.

Posted on: 2006/11/10 20:27

Re: Don't people on Historic Preservation Board ever "retire?"
Home away from home
Home away from home

Preservation is the key word here. Have you noticed that these people never seem to age either? I don't mean to scare you but I have seen historic photos of JC from 1885. Some of the people in these photos bear an uncanny resemblance to the present day board members. Of course the clothes are different but otherwise they look exactly as they do now.

Posted on: 2006/11/10 20:21

Re: Amiya Restaurant: Indian fare with flair in Downtown Jersey City
Home away from home
Home away from home

I love Indian food.

Cafe Spice is simply awful. I have seen the frozen food arriving in trucks. It is still better than a lot of Newport choices so I admit to still eating there. But I regret it as much as the mall food court.

Amiya is good, although I have only been there for lunch and had the buffet.

Rasoi I have eaten there several times (excellent) and gotten the delivery many times (the only one I like in JC).

Where else should I go, in Little India especially. I like my food as authentic as possible. Really.

Posted on: 2006/11/10 19:45

Re: COMPSTAT: Violent crime down in ALL of Jersey City from 2005 to 2006 -- but crime by Juveniles is up
Not too shy to talk
Not too shy to talk

This doesn't mean crime is necessarily up. It could just mean that new policies are enabling more of these kids to be caught than on Troy's watch. I for one am pretty happy so far with the new Chief. Next summer will be the real test.

Posted on: 2006/11/10 19:21

Don't people on Historic Preservation Board ever "retire?"
Not too shy to talk
Not too shy to talk

It seems some of these people have been serving well past their two year term. Am I just imaging this?

Posted on: 2006/11/10 19:17

Re: COMPSTAT: Violent crime down in ALL of Jersey City from 2005 to 2006 -- but crime by Juveniles is up

these belligerent punks need to be caned and whipped into law abiding people, if their parents don't teach them how to be a normal person, somebody else has to.

Posted on: 2006/11/10 18:58

New Park construction at Exchange Place
Quite a regular
Quite a regular

I noticed that the City has begun the reconstruction of the waterfront pier/park at Exchange Place next to the PATH Station. does anyone have any prictures of what the new pier/park is going to look like?

Posted on: 2006/11/10 15:50

Journal Square: Time for city to release funds it is holding for Landmark Loew's Jersey Theater.
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Home away from home

City should let go of Loew's funding
Earl Morgan -- Friday, November 10, 2006

Throngs of costumed youngsters filled the Landmark Loew's Jersey Theater on Journal Square last week for the sixth annual Halloween party hosted by local radio and cable television personality Pat O'Melia.

The evening was big fun. A trove of prizes were awarded for the best costume. Microwave ovens and vacuum cleaners were raffled off to lucky winners.

The audience also was treated to a display of martial arts techniques by students of the New Jersey Tae kwon do Youth Foundation, located on Jersey City's Martin Luther King Jr. Drive; a spirited saber fencing demonstration by Steve Kaplan and Rosa Cartegena of Jersey City's Cobra Fencing Club; and a magic show by Luis Montenegro.

Going by the grins on their faces, real estate developer Joe Panepinto, Ward B Councilwoman Mary Spinello and Hudson County Executive Tom DeGise - who acted as judges for the costume contest - enjoyed themselves as much as the kids.

O'Melia's annual Halloween bash explodes the myth that no one cares. He's been able to get Panepinto, along with other developers, including Steve Hyman, owner of the Flintkote property; George Filopoulos, who is redeveloping the former Jersey City Medical Center; and waterfront developer Dean Geibel, as well as local businesses such as the DiFeo Auto Group and Home Depot to donate the costumes and raffles prizes.

And a group of Dickinson High School students volunteered their time to work as stage hands and help clean the theater after the party.

Who says nobody cares? O'Melia's party reaffirms just how the Loew's can act as a catalyst to pull a deteriorating Journal Square out of its doldrums.

Once a bustling, 24 hour-a-day commerce destination, Journal Square offered restaurants and chain stores, not to mention its three movie theaters - the State, the Stanley and, of course, the Loew's.

As things stand now, often by 9 p.m., the Square is virtually deserted. What with the advent of cable TV, shopping malls and the Internet, the Square may never return to the glory days of yesteryear - but at the very least it can, and should, be commercially viable.

"What's the plan for Journal Square?" a merchant who is struggling to survive in the area asked me several days ago. It's a good question.

The only thing we know that's in its future is the residential towers development slated for the old Hotel on the Square site. But it will, in all likelihood, be filled with people who will do nothing but sleep on this side of the Hudson. They will do their working, eating and shopping in Manhattan and its environs.

But looking back at the last few weeks, when we had the Halloween party, three concerts and a program of Halloween movies, all bringing thousands to the Square, and we see the potential. The throngs of the hungry and the thirsty leaving the concert meant big bucks for Boulevard Drinks and the Journal Square Pub as well as a bonanza of sales for other business in the Square.

If proof is still needed to demonstrate the potential viability of the Loew's, attendance at those events should cinch it. If a theater that is only partially restored can generate that kind of attendance, imagine what will happen once the Loew's seating, air conditioning, balcony, lights and stage improvements are completed?

Funds to cover some of the work is currently in the hands of City Hall. That includes a $50,000 donation the city got as part of a deal to extend a tax exemption on the ADP Building in Journal Square for another 20 years.

Another $165,000 earmarked for the Loew's that is part of another settlement involving 111 First St. is in the city's hands. DeGise has committed $750,000 for a modern air conditioning system for the theater.

Whether or not there are plans for resurrecting Journal Square as a commercial hub, restoring the Loew's, enabling it to become a venue able to host productions - and therefore bringing five or six thousand people to the Square, five or six days a week - will go a long way to giving the area a needed boost.

Hopefully, the administration, which for some reason continues to drag its heels, will finally see the light and release the funds it's holding for the theater.

Posted on: 2006/11/10 15:31

Re: COMPSTAT: Violent crime down in ALL of Jersey City from 2005 to 2006 -- but crime by Juveniles i
Home away from home
Home away from home

Interesting. I would've thought that with school starting, juvenile offenses would drop (at least, slightly).

I suppose if you pair up poor supervision, bad attitudes, and the nicer weather we've had, that would (help) account for this disturbing trend.

Posted on: 2006/11/10 15:13

Re: COMPSTAT: Violent crime down in ALL of Jersey City from 2005 to 2006 -- but crime by Juveniles i
Home away from home
Home away from home

I agree that there should be more activities for youth -- I also think way too much money goes to organized sports -- it is one thing to get kids playing sports but quite another to spend a lot of money to support teams with few players.

Money should be spent on intellectual activities -- not on spectator sports. They waste tons of money!

Also all city libraries should be open nights till 9:30 pm and open long hours on weekends too -- who uses libraries on weekday mornings anyway?

Jersey City needs to think out of the box -- I also think we need free city wide wi-fi!

Posted on: 2006/11/10 15:05

Re: COMPSTAT: Violent crime down in ALL of Jersey City from 2005 to 2006 -- but crime by Juveniles is up
Home away from home
Home away from home

I think more should be done to help prevent juvenile crime, a good part of the blame is on parents but not all. Other factors I believe contribute to juvenile crimes are bad school systems and not enough activities to keep the youth off the street. These young criminals are going to be the next wave of adult crime. I think measures should be taken to prevent kids from thinking like criminals. The cities highschools I feel are a big part of the problem they treat the kids like criminals from day one then they start acting the way they are treated. Schools should have programs that prepare students for the real world (how pay taxes, pay bills, vote etc.) Jersey City also needs recreation centers in all different neighborhoods to keep kids busy and off the streets.

Posted on: 2006/11/10 14:55

Wild Fusion: The fun of fusion -- sushi with a sense of humor
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The fun of fusion
In Jersey City, sushi comes with a sense of humor
Friday, November 10, 2006


"Fusion" is the kind of word that causes a frisson among some restaurant reviewers, especially when it refers to Asian fusion. Is any culinary term more overworked? Isn't all food fusion to some degree, drawing upon multiple influences?

Fortunately, Wild Fusion in Jersey City is a casual, fun restaurant, and evidence they don't take themselves seriously here comes just inside the front door, in the presence of a imposing stone dragon covered in dollar bills.

"For luck," explained manager Yennie Shim.

The playful menu is dotted with such dishes as Golden Treasure Tofu, Holy Basil Fried Rice, Grove Roll (the restaurant is located on Grove Street); Crazy Tuna Roll and the Fancy Rock Roll .

Let's not forget the Jersey Roll, the Fantastic Roll, the Out of Control Roll, the Romantic Roll, the Hot Lover Roll, and the Three Stooges Roll, with seaweed, tuna, salmon, cucumber, avocado, spicy mayo, shaved bonito and fish roe.

My friend Joyce and I felt like the two Stooges trying to find a liquor store in the neighborhood. A helpful waiter pointed us down the street, to what he said was a liquor store next to the Dunkin' Donuts. The only thing there was a vacant storefront. We then headed to a convenience store a block away, where one customer pointed us to Palace Drugs, across the street.

A drug store allowed to sell wine and beer? Surely we misheard him. We dawdled in the street, unsure what to do next. "The drug store!" shouted the convenience store guy, now out on the sidewalk.

Sure enough, Palace Drugs is now a liquor store; there are a few bottles of aspirin and lotion in the window, although whether they are for sale or serve as the world's smallest apothecary museum is not clear.

After all that, nothing -- not even an Out of Control Roll -- could possibly faze us.

The 40-seat restaurant opened two years ago. We started with three appetizers. Mango tuna ($9) was a mini-mountain of greens topped with tasty strips of tuna and ringed by a decorative orange glaze. The accompanying sesame-flavored "special sauce" was not so much a showstopper as a solid second act.

The chicken satay ($5, also available with beef) was tender and pleasingly greasy, and the peanut dipping sauce was subtle, if lacking in character. The Appetizer Samples ($10), with two Thai spring rolls, two Shanghai shrimp rolls and three pieces of chicken tempura, is fusion personified. One note: If you like your food spicy, you will want to rachet up the heat here. The sampler and the satay were marked as "hot & spicy" on the menu, but fell far short of that description.

Crispy red snapper ($17) with sweet onions and pepper, consisted of three Jaws-sized pieces of fish, nicely fried like the tempura. The accompanying Penang curry was smooth and satisfying, but also didn't live up to the "hot & spicy" billing.

The coconut fried rice with beef ($8.50; chicken, vegetable, shrimp and seafood also available) was enlivened with coconut shreds, eggs and raisins. "I'm loving the curry,' said Joyce, a fan of Curry in a Hurry in the city.

We thought about traveling to Rachel, the well-liked cafe down the down the street, for desert, but instead we decided to try the Japanese cheesecake ($5), which seemed somewhere between cheesecake and tiramisu. Different, but not especially memorable.

The menu is wide-ranging (salads, soup, sushi bar, noodle bar, rice and vegetarian dishes, and $6.50 and $7 lunch specials), although we couldn't figure out why the item numbering went from 1 to 6, jumped to 101, hit every number through 120, then jumped again, to 131. Where was the guy in the convenience store when we needed him?

Where should Pete eat next? Call him at (973) 392-1765 or e-mail to

Posted on: 2006/11/10 13:59

Amiya Restaurant: Indian fare with flair in Downtown Jersey City
Home away from home
Home away from home

Indian fare with flair in Downtown Jersey City
Mango featured on Amiya menu in drinks, appetizers and more
Friday, November 10, 2006
For the Star-Ledger


A classy restaurant located on the ground floor of a corporate building in Jersey City's booming financial district, Amiya claims to serve "contemporary" North Indian cuisine.

The two-year-old eatery actually offers polished presentations of traditional fare, mixed with just a handful of updated dishes. But that worked for us.

Ambiance: Sleek and smart. The Eastern influence is implied: Oversized tasseled lanterns hang from high ceilings and gossamer curtains cloak floor-to-ceiling windows. An elaborate candelabra and recorded music add the final flourish.

Staff: Kind and accommodat ing, though somewhat overwhelmed by the full house on a recent weekend. Service improved as the crowd thinned out.

Food: The restaurant's namesake ingredient -- amiya is Hindi for "green mango" -- is mixed into both drinks and dishes, including a mango spritzer (with rum, mango juice, orange juice and Sprite) and crab cakes topped with a mango salsa (a starter, $8.95). Entrees and ap petizers are expertly executed and attractively presented.

Crisp, house-made pappadam (lentil crackers) came with sweet/tangy tamarind and feisty mint chutneys. The Amiya tandoori starter platter ($16.95) was a showy assortment of skewered, smoked minced lamb seasoned with coriander, ginger and garlic; zesty chili-rubbed tandoori shrimp; succulent yogurt-marinated chicken smoked in the tandoor, and fish tikka -- fleshy, flaky white fish marinated in minced spinach and spices. Vegetable samosas ($4.95), two fried pastries filled with assertively seasoned cubed potatoes and peas, were delicious. So was the tangy-sweet mango shrimp ($8.95; $17.95, entree), a stew of jumbo prawns and thinly sliced mango in a suitably fruity sauce.

A basket of three breads ($8.95) -- garlic naan, paratha pudina (whole wheat with fresh mint) and kulcha (stuffed with chickpeas and potatoes) comple mented entrees.

Sarson saag paneer ($10.95), a fiery blend of creamy, rib-sticking mustard greens and mild cubed cheese, ruled. A lavish lamb bi ryani ($13.95) mingled aromatic, slow-cooked basmati rice with tender cubed meat and sliced hard-boiled egg. Shrimp kadai ($17.95) -- a mildly spicy melange of jumbos, chopped peppers and onion stewed in a thick red chili sauce -- was particularly toothsome. Our meal was tempered by cooling swigs of India's King Fisher beer ($5; $8).

If you choose only one dessert, make it kulfi ($4.45), kitchen- made pistachio ice cream topped with a tousle of orange-tinted vermicelli. Now that's what we call a contemporary combo.


Ambience: ***

Service: ** 1/2

Overall: ***

Posted on: 2006/11/10 13:55

COMPSTAT: Violent crime down in ALL of Jersey City from 2005 to 2006 -- but crime by Juveniles is up
Home away from home
Home away from home

Juvenile crimes way up
Friday, November 10, 2006

Jersey City police are monitoring a dramatic spike in juvenile crime over the past two months.

"We have seen an increase that is concerning me, and through COMPSTAT we have been better able to put our resources where we can attempt to deal with it," said Police Chief Tom Comey, referring to the department's computerized crime tracking system.

There were 144 juvenile arrests in the city last month, compared to only 76 in the same period last year, Capt. Hugh Donaghue said, and 102 juvenile arrests in September, compared to only 57 during that period in 2005.

The numbers from August and July, on the other hand, are only up slightly from the previous year: There were 79 juveniles arrested this August, compared to 77 last year, and 82 in July, compared to 74 in 2005.

A number of recent incidents illustrate a surge in criminal activity by young people.

On Monday at 6 p.m., officers said they spotted a group of 10 boys standing at the corner of Grant and West Side avenues. Police followed them until they surrounded and attacked a 14-year-old boy, knocking him to the ground and searching his pockets. The boys ran when the cops intervened, but they caught and arrested a 14-year-old and a 12-year-old on robbery charges, reports said.

And on Saturday, police arrested a 13-year-old boy who had mugged another boy, and in another incident found three teen-agers who'd been shot in the legs during a fight at Atlantic Avenue and Martin Luther King Jr. Drive.

But statistics show most types of crime are down in Jersey City, Donaghue said.

From January to September, there were 4,328 violent incidents reported in Jersey City, compared to 4,528 in 2005, Donaghue said.

Posted on: 2006/11/10 13:29

Re: Councilman Steve Fulop runs 26m race for nonprofit: the Hudson County Child Abuse Prevention Cen
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Home away from home

Nice capture, 25mc! I guess we left too early, huh?

It was nice running into you, Christine, and the Falcon, and meeting Steve from the HCCAP, and most of all, finally getting some face time w/ Steve. Good times.

Posted on: 2006/11/9 23:26

Re: Councilman Steve Fulop runs 26m race for nonprofit: the Hudson County Child Abuse Prevention Cen
Quite a regular
Quite a regular

Bar Majestic 11/9/2006. Steven Fulop presents the check to the Hudson County Child Abuse Prevention Center.
Resized Image

Posted on: 2006/11/9 23:19
25mc Watchdog Group Blog Web Site

Re: White Manna

you don't go to a place like this for the great customer service- it's like the old captain al's or mcsorleys.
BTW i've been in all of those places numerous times and i've never had anyone be rude to me. I think maybe they are rougher on men though. and even though i lived in three different states and dc after moving away from here as a kid, somehow people here can sense if you are from hudson county. maybe it's the stench of old pig farms, factories and corruption, but they don't usually mess with people born here. lucky me. i knew being from secaucus would have to work in my favor once in my life.

Posted on: 2006/11/9 23:12

Re: Pitfalls of renting to a foreign contract tech worker?
Home away from home
Home away from home

Posted on: 2006/11/9 17:26

Re: Pitfalls of renting to a foreign contract tech worker?
Home away from home
Home away from home


GrovePath wrote:
Just make sure he is who he says he is -- GS can tell you that they use his firm. Also do ask for a letter from his company stating how long they plan to have him in JC.

You know, if you are willing to gamble with short term renters from outside the USA - you might consider creating a furnished apartment and have short leases -- you could get a real premium -- not sure about here but it is common elsewhere.

He's candidly said the current contract runs till august, but he's confident it and his visa will be renewed. So the worst case as far as that is a 9 month lease. I've had tenants break a lease after 3 months. Even holding them to the lease and losing no rent in a transition to a new tenant it was a pain in the ass. You just never know no matter what they say.

I've thought about the furnished apt thing, loosely known as a B&B apt. If I had a ground floor apt available I think I could easily rent it for visiting parents and relatives. Have you looked at the hotel prices around here?!!. I have a nice 2nd floor unit, but parents don't like stairs.

Posted on: 2006/11/9 17:10

Re: Pitfalls of renting to a foreign contract tech worker?
Home away from home
Home away from home

GP is totally on the mark with his advisement .

You would best be served by contacting his employer GS to get further details .


Posted on: 2006/11/9 16:45

Re: Pitfalls of renting to a foreign contract tech worker?
Just can't stay away
Just can't stay away

PM me and I'll tell you my thoughts and experience.

Posted on: 2006/11/9 16:14

Re: Pitfalls of renting to a foreign contract tech worker?
Home away from home
Home away from home

Just make sure he is who he says he is -- GS can tell you that they use his firm. Also do ask for a letter from his company stating how long they plan to have him in JC.

You know, if you are willing to gamble with short term renters from outside the USA - you might consider creating a furnished apartment and have short leases -- you could get a real premium -- not sure about here but it is common elsewhere.

Too many headaches for me!

Good Luck with it!


brewster wrote:
thanks GP,

I actually don't mind if he's only here a year, the apt needs more reno work done on it, but the timing right now is bad for me, I'm too busy.

He says there's no point in talking to G-S, since they're simply the clients of his firm, not his employer.

I just don't know, we've been pretty lucky with good, low maintainance tenants, I just don't want to push it.

Posted on: 2006/11/9 15:54

Call it 'Hudson County Plaza' -- Former Block Drug to be new workplace for 1,100 county employees.
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Call it 'Hudson County Plaza' --Former Block Drug to be workplace for 1,100 county employees

Ricardo Kaulessar- Hudson Reporter --10/28/2006

It will cost $50 million and takes two years of work, but by late 2008, the old Block Drug headquarters on Cornelison Avenue in Jersey City will become Hudson County Plaza, the new home to 1,100 county employees.

The nearly 80-year-old building was once the national headquarters for Block Drug, which developed, manufactured and marketed pharmaceutical and household products such as Sensodyne Toothpaste, 1000 Flushes, and Gold Bond Powder.

Block Drug was sold to the British-based GlaxoSmithKline in 2001. Hudson County purchased the Block Drug building from GlaxoSmithKline in 2004 for approximately $15 million.

County officials gave a media tour of the building on Oct. 17, and presented completed design plans.

The 292,000 of 340,000 square foot building will house 14 county departments including the Hudson County Sheriff's Department and the Department of Health and Human Services.

Also, there will be a new, county-operated chest clinic to replace the old county facility located at Murdoch Hall in the former Jersey City Medical Center.

Staff from the old clinic is slated to occupy the new building first, since their current lease at their old location is expected to expire by the end of the year.

They will be followed by the Sheriff's Office, then other departments.

Changes to the building include new entrances, two new elevators, new lighting fixtures, and a new air conditioning system for the clinic.

Assistant County Administrator David Drumeler said the first phase of the project will be asbestos removal from inside the building's walls starting by the end of the November.

In early January, bids will go out for the rest of the construction.

The estimated cost of the upgrades and changes will be approximately $36 million.

The center of county operations

Drumeler said before the tour that relocating most county services under one roof will be helpful in the long run.

"While we will spend more upfront to bring Hudson County Plaza online, there is no doubt that the long-term benefit, both financially and from a service perspective, will be worth it," said Drumeler.

He said that the county has been leasing spaces for county departments in a building on Newkirk Avenue and in other parts of Hudson County, which was becoming a money waster.

County spokesperson Jim Kennelly pointed out that there will be a good deal of work that was at first not anticipated, since the county was unaware there was more space than expected.

"We initially thought we would do what is called a dust-off. That is, we would go in and used what space was available," Kennelly said, "but what we found was there were about 100,000 square feet of labs and other space. So let's go forward and use every available space."

Drumeler noted that GlaxoSmithKline did about $5 million in improvements when they occupied the building.

The tour made its way from the first floor, where the chest clinic will be located, to the seventh floor, where employees from the county's Department of Health and Human Services (expected to occupy 65 percent of the building) will be placed.

Other floors will hold the County Clerk, Superintendent of Elections, the Board of Elections, and the Sheriff's Department, which will be responsible for the 24-hour security for the building.

From Block Drug to Hudson County Plaza

The Block Drug property is a total of 16 acres. The Block Drug building is seven stories high, sitting on little over 13 acres of land that also includes 600 parking spaces. A second nearby parcel is nearly 3 acres.

According to Joe Baker, member of a small crew of ex-Block Drug employees who have been maintaining the building since it closed, said the building has existed on the site since 1928. Block Drug moved into the building in the 1950s after it moved from a building on Baldwin Avenue.

The county retained several employees from Block Drug to take care of the interior and exterior of the building. There is a front gate leading from Cornelison Avenue and a back entrance on Academy Street.

Transformation from Block Drug to the new Hudson County Plaza will feature upgraded grounds, including a small public park, widened sidewalks, and new bus stops and new landscaping.

"One of the things the county executive [Tom DeGise] talked about was we wanted to support the neighborhood," said Kennelly. "We want to make this more inviting. You'll have 1,100 employees working here, and people coming in and out."

Ricardo Kaulessar can be reached at

Posted on: 2006/11/9 15:36

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