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Re: Jersey City assemblyman calls Councilman Fulop 'un-American,'
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Steve Fulop, Jersey City Councilman, Called 'Un-American' By Political Rival

09/06/2012 3:02 pm
By John Celock
The Huffington Post

A New Jersey Democrat is fighting back after a political rival described his recent comments against party officials as "un-American," compared him to Mitt Romney and called him a "1-percenter."

Jersey City Councilman Steve Fulop (D) called comments made by Assemblyman Sean Connors (D-Jersey City) "ludicrous," pointing to the story of his family's immigration to the United States and his own service as a Marine in Iraq.

Connors told PolitickerNJ.com that earlier this week Fulop criticized a series of elected officials and the Hudson County Democratic Organization who are backing Jersey City Mayor Jerry Healy (D) in the 2013 mayoral race. Fulop, a longtime opponent of the organization, has announced plans to challenge Healy in the mayoral race of New Jersey's second-largest city.

Connors specifically went after a comment Fulop made about a list of endorsements Healy released this week. Fulop said that he is looking for support from Jersey City residents and characterized Healy's backers as "career politicians" who "have 15 jobs between them."

Connors, a Jersey City police officer, told PolitickerNJ.com that he found Fulop "hypocritical" for the remarks, noting that Fulop received backing from congressional candidate Don Payne earlier this year. Payne currently serves as Newark City Council president and as an Essex County freeholder.

PolitickerNJ.com reports:

"The elected officials that endorsed Mayor Healy were dedicated civil servants prior to running for office," [Connors] added. "All of them passed civil service or licensing tests and met the necessary requirements and training. The fact that Mr. Fulop is demonizing civil servants such as police officers, firefighters and teachers for wanting to make a difference in our community by running for public office is Un-American. I think it’s great that Steve Fulop took 14 months off from his $632,575 a year Wall Street job to run for Mayor but he should not be trying to prevent others with lesser means from running for public office. Mr. Fulop cannot relate to the struggling working class residents of Jersey City that cannot afford the same luxury of quitting their jobs for over a year to run for mayor. The one per centers like Steve Fulop and Mitt Romney need to stop trying to control everything.”

Fulop is the second Democrat nationally in recent weeks to be called "un-American" by a political opponent. In August, Republican Ohio U.S. Senate nominee Josh Mandel characterized Sen. Sherrod Brown (D) as "un-American" for his vote in favor of the auto bailout. Mandel, the Ohio treasurer and retired Marine, later said Brown "should be ashamed" of the vote.

Fulop, who left Goldman Sachs and enlisted in the Marines following the 9/11 terrorist attacks, responded to Connors Thursday morning by noting his service and that his parents immigrated from Israel. Fulop also denied he made $632,575 while on Wall Street, saying he was paid less. Fulop left his job as a trader at Sanford Bernstein to focus on his mayoral campaign earlier this year.

"It is sad that the Healy lieutenants resort to name-calling me 'un-American'. Yes, my family is immigrants, yes, my family owned a bodega, but I also volunteered to serve the country in the Marine Corps, and yes, I care deeply about the city and the way it is run and that is the reason that I am trying to change the status quo," Fulop said in an email.

"It is ludicrous to say I am un-American because I come from a family of immigrants that owned a bodega as I would point out that when I was serving in Iraq, they were padding their multiple public pensions here in Hudson County."

Connors told HuffPost that he was not calling Fulop "un-American," but rather was using that to describe [Fulop's] political philosophy. He noted that the five officials who backed Healy -- himself, Hudson County Executive Tom DeGIse (D), Bayonne Mayor Mark Smith (D), Assemblyman Jason O'Donnell (D-Bayonne) and Hudson County Freeholder (D-Jersey City) -- had all started their careers in government and should be allowed to run for office as well.

"He is saying that it is not right for a public employee to run for office," Connors said. "I think his philosophy is un-American."

Connors said that he received the $632,575 salary from his staff, who had researched Fulop's earnings. "It must be nice to leave a job and still continue paying your mortgage," Connors said.

UPDATE: 2:53 p.m. -- On Tuesday, the Jersey Journal disputed Fulop's count of 15 public jobs being held by DeGise, O'Donnell, Connors, Smith and Dublin. The newspaper said that the group held a total of eight public jobs.

Dublin serves as a public works inspector for Jersey City and a school administrator, while O'Donnell is public safety director in Bayonne and former firefighter. Smith was a police officer before becoming mayor, while DeGise was a teacher and Jersey city councilman.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/09 ... n-american_n_1861195.html

Posted on: 2012/9/6 23:10
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Jersey City assemblyman calls Councilman Fulop 'un-American,'
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Jersey City assemblyman calls councilman 'un-American,' ties him to Mitt Romney

Thursday, September 06, 2012, 11:56 AM
By Terrence T. McDonald/The Jersey Journal

Jersey City’s mayoral election is still eight months away, but the campaign is flaring up, with one of Mayor Jerramiah Healy’s surrogates slamming mayoral candidate Ward E Councilman Steve Fulop as “un-American” and tying him to Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney.

Assemblyman Sean Connors, who was one of five Hudson County Democrats this week to endorse Mayor Jerramiah Healy in his bid for reelection in 2013, said Fulop’s recent comments about the Healy campaign displayed a lack of maturity and an inability to cultivate healthy relationships with other city leaders.

“The fact that Mr. Fulop is demonizing civil servants such as police officers, firefighters and teachers for wanting to make a difference in our community by running for public office is un-American,” Connors said in a press release.

On Tuesday, Fulop slammed the five endorsements released by the Healy campaign, saying the five men “have 15 jobs between them,” and endorsed Healy because he represents the “status quo.”

By The Jersey Journal’s count, the five men who endorsed Healy Tuesday – Connors, Hudson County Executive Tom DeGise, Bayonne Freeholder Jeff Dublin, Assemblyman Jason O’Donnell, Mayor Mark Smith – have eight public jobs between them, and one public disability.

Connors, who claims Fulop tried to get his endorsement recentl, also took a shot at Fulop’s employment status. In March, Fulop said he was taking a leave from his day job as a Wall Street trader to concentrate on the 2013 mayoral race.

“Mr. Fulop cannot relate to the struggling working class residents of Jersey City that cannot afford the same luxury of quitting their jobs for over a year to run for mayor,” Connors said. “The one per centers like Steve Fulop and Mitt Romney need to stop trying to control everything.”

Fulop called Connors' statement "sad" and the charges that he is un-American "ludicrous."

"Yes, my family is immigrants, yes my family owned a bodega, but I also volunteered to serve the country in the Marine Corps and, yes, I care deeply about the city and the way it is run and that is the reason that I am trying to change the status quo," Fulop said in a statement.

Fulop, who said is a supporter of President Obama, added: "As I would point out that when I was serving in Iraq, they were padding their multiple public pensions here in Hudson County."

http://www.nj.com/hudson/index.ssf/20 ... ty_assemblyman_calls.html

Posted on: 2012/9/6 16:53
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Re: Whats going on at Exchange Place ?
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Jersey City man sentenced to more than 12 years for robbing federal credit union

September 05, 2012, 1:20 PM
By Ron Zeitlinger/The Jersey Journal

NEWARK – A Jersey City man was sentenced today to 12 and a half years in prison for robbing the Liberty Savings Federal Credit Union in Jersey City in November 2010, U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman announced.

Stanley P. Powell, 42, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge William J.
Martini in federal court in April to an indictment charging him with one count of bank robbery. The maximum sentence was 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

Authorities said that on Nov. 23, 2010, Powell entered the Liberty Savings Federal Credit Union on Kennedy Boulevard in Jersey City and began yelling and cursing at the teller as he demanded money.

Two bank tellers put money on the counter and Powell stuffed the money into a bag and fled on foot until he reached the home of a relative in Jersey City, authorities said. Initial reports said that Powell had $20,000 in bank funds on him when he was caught.

Not realizing that police were close behind, Powell stood on the front porch and began putting the money into his pants pockets when he was approached by Jersey City police. Powell attempted to flee, but was apprehended, authorities said.

In addition to the prison term, Powell was sentenced to three years of supervised release.

http://www.nj.com/hudson/index.ssf/20 ... y_man_sentenced_to_m.html

Posted on: 2012/9/6 3:32
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Re: HUGE GAS PIPELINE COMING - through Jersey City
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Spectra pipeline under construction, but lawsuits pending

September 04. 2012 11:43AM
By Jared Kaltwasser
NJBIZ.COM

Opponents of a controversial pipeline through Jersey City are vowing to continue the fight, even as they sit in a legal holding pattern and construction of the pipeline continues.

In May, Spectra Energy won approval from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to build a 16-mile extension of its Texas Eastern Transmission and Algonquin Gas Transmission pipelines. The expansion would boost the system's capacity to transport natural gas to Manhattan and other parts of the region. The project has faced stiff opposition from Jersey City and community groups who see it as a safety risk to put the pipeline in a densely populated area.

Jersey City has asked FERC to reconsider its decision. Derek Fanciullo, assistant corporation counsel for the city, said the reconsideration request is necessary before the city can take further legal action.

In the meantime, the approval gave Spectra permission to begin building the pipeline. Marylee Hanley, a Spectra spokeswoman, said construction began July 9. The project is slated for completion in November 2013.

Fanciullo said there's no clear timeline for when FERC will make its next move. FERC was supposed to respond to the city's rehearing request within 30 days. Technically, they did so, Fanciullo said, but only to say they needed more time. Fanciullo said experts he's talked to suggest it could be months before FERC acts.

"They think if we got something back by the end of the year from them, we might be lucky," he said.

Fanciullo thinks it's highly unlikely FERC will reverse course. If it doesn't, he said, the city is committed to going up the legal ladder, which in this case would mean asking a federal court to review the matter.

Fanciullo said the city thinks it's a losing strategy to simply ask the court to nitpick FERC's decision in this particular case. Instead, the city plans to make the agency itself the issue.

"Part of what we're saying is FERC is unconstitutional on its face," he said.

Fanciullo said the agency is funded by fees and charges from the industries it regulates, which he argues skews its judgment. As evidence, he said, while FERC is supposed to consider alternative routes for pipeline projects, the agency has only once declined to approve a route originally proposed by the pipeline company. In the lone exception, he said the agency made only a minimal change, and asked the pipeline company's permission first.

Fanciullo said the city is prepared to take the case to the Supreme Court, if necessary.

Meanwhile, other opponents are preparing for legal action. Dale Hardman, president of No Gas Pipeline, said his group stands ready to sue once FERC acts. He said other citizens' groups have expressed plans to do the same.

http://www.njbiz.com/article/20120904 ... tion-but-lawsuits-pending

Posted on: 2012/9/5 4:09
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Re: Pole Position Go Kart racing near Liberty State Park in Jersey City
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Report: From software to road gear? Q&A with Jersey City raceway owner

Monday, September 03, 2012, 3:15 PM
By Ana Ferrer/The Jersey Journal

After three decades in the software industry Karen Davis-Farage found herself unemployed in 2008 after the recession put an end to her career, but after a life-changing road trip to California Davis-Farage is back on track The Star-Ledger reported.

She and her husband Eyal are owners of Pole Position Raceway in Jersey City, a two-track electric go-kart racing facility where she serves as the general manager.

She wasn't expecting her management position to be cut in 2008, the article stated.

"I was not a believer that I could take my skill set and my experience and transfer to another industry," she said in the article. "I was beside myself.

After a road trip to California, ending in a go-karting excursion in Los Angeles, their son Andrew suggested his father open up a similar business on the East Coast.

According to the article, in 2010 Eyal signed a contract with Pole Position Raceway to open up five East Coast franchises by 2015 and are set to open their second franchise in Syracuse.

Davis-Farage joined the management side of Pole Position Raceway and put her skills to use, building the brand and forging business relationships within the community, the article stated.

When asked what surprised her about the go-kart business, Davis-Farage said in the article, "Number one, is that racing in America is one of the largest sports, but it's a relatively unknown sport which is gaining tremendous growth because of the karting industry, before now, was all gas."

Davis-Farage said in the article that giving back is a core value of their business and opened up their business as a "venue that will support any foundation, any charitable organization that comes to us."

As for working with her family, in the article she states that she and her husband try not to talk business 24 hours a day.

She added, "there are so many aspects of who he is that I wouldn't have seen otherwise, it's really just a gift."

http://www.nj.com/hudson/index.ssf/20 ... m_software_to_road_g.html

Posted on: 2012/9/5 4:03
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Jersey City mayor releases endorsements, launches website for 2013 reelection bid
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Jersey City mayor releases endorsements, launches website for 2013 reelection bid

Tuesday, September 04, 2012, 7:35 PM
By Terrence T. McDonald/The Jersey Journal

Jersey City Mayor Jerramiah Healy may be in Charlotte, N.C. this week to cheer on President Obama’s reelection effort at the Democratic National Convention, but Healy has his eye on his own reelection bid.

Healy is competing with Ward E Councilman Steve Fulop in the 2013 mayoral race, and today the mayor unveiled a new campaign website and released a slew of endorsements from top Hudson County Democrats.

The endorsements€“ from Bayonne Mayor Mark Smith, Hudson County Executive Tom DeGise, Freeholder Jeffrey Dublin and assemblymen Sean Connors and Jason O' €™Donnell€“ tout Healy's record on job creation and public safety, as well as his early endorsement of Obama during the 2008 Democratic presidential primary.

"Mayor Healy was proud to be one of the first elected officials to stand with Barack Obama in 2008 when many other politicians did not,"€ Dublin said in a press release. "Today, Mayor Healy is again working hard to get our president reelected to keep Jersey City and the entire nation moving in the right direction."

Asked why Healy would launch a campaign website and release endorsements while he is more than 600 miles away, a Healy ally said the mayor wants to remind Democratic officials that he is serious about running for a third full term.

"So when he runs into people at the hotel, they won'€™t say, '€˜Are you running,'€™ they'€™ll say, '€˜How can we help?'" the ally said.

Fulop is so far Healy'€™s only real competition, though rumors continue to swirl that state Sen. Sandra B. Cunningham may step in to run the city her late husband ran from 2001 until his death in 2004.

In recent public appearances, Cunningham, asked about her 2013 intentions, has said only that she'™s looking forward to the race.

Fulop, as expected, doesn'™t think much of Healy'€™s new endorsements.

"The only endorsement that counts to me is the residents of Jersey City,"€ Fulop said. "€œThese career politicians that endorsed Healy today have 15 jobs between them so of course they want the status quo, which Healy represents."

By The Jersey Journal's count, the five men who endorsed Healy today have eight public jobs between them.

The citywide election is May 14, 2013. Voters will have a say in their choice for mayor and all nine City Council seats.

http://www.nj.com/hudson/index.ssf/20 ... y_mayor_releases_end.html

Posted on: 2012/9/5 3:47
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Re: Jersey City school board rejects contract for new superintendent
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Jersey City officials distance themselves from deputy mayor's 'racism' charge against education officials

August 31, 2012, 4:23 PM
By Terrence T. McDonald/The Jersey Journal

Jersey City Deputy Mayor Kabili Tayari’s accusation that the hiring of a new schools superintendent was a “racist” act on behalf of top education officials is not sitting well with folks at City Hall.

Tayari, who made the comments at last night’s BOE meeting, did not run his comments by city officials first, said one City Hall source who asked not to be identified.
“I’m just hoping that it all goes away,” the source said. “He’s a little crazy sometimes.”

Another source said the comment, which Tayari said he made as a private citizen and not an official city spokesman, could make it difficult for top city officials who want a good relationship with the new superintendent, Marcia V. Lyles.
“We have to work with this woman,” the second source said.

Tayari said last night that Lyles’ appointment was an example of “racism” and “neo-colonialism.” Though Lyles is black, Tayari noted that state Education Commissioner Chris Cerf is white.

“They decided that they would go find somebody so we couldn’t cry racism,” Tayari said last night. “That’s how slick racism is. So you can’t accuse them of doing the dirt, they go and make it look clean.”

Mayor Jerramiah Healy distanced himself from Tayari’s comments, saying he “couldn’t disagree more” with the deputy mayor.

"I don't see any evidence of racism on the part of the board or anyone else in this selection,” Healy said in a statement. “Indeed, I don't believe there was anything remotely resembling racism playing a part in this decision.”

BOE President Sue Mack declined to comment. Asked to respond to Tayari’s charge of racism, Cerf spokeswoman Barbara Morgan issued a statement praising the new schools chief.

"We wish Dr. Lyles the best of luck as she begins the work of making sure all children in Jersey City have access to a high quality education,” Morgan said.

Morgan did not respond to a follow-up request for a response to Tayari’s comments.

Critics of Lyles’ appointment allege Cerf, who like Lyles is a graduate of the controversial Broad Superintendents Academy, hand-picked Lyles and all but told the BOE to hire her. Cerf’s office denies the charge.

Tayari told The Jersey Journal this afternoon that city officials had not spoken to him about the matter.

http://www.nj.com/hudson/index.ssf/20 ... y_officials_distance.html

Posted on: 2012/9/3 18:34
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Re: Jersey City swears in 27-year-old lobbyist as new deputy mayor
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The Deputy Mayor Of Jersey City Is A Gearhead

Jalopnik
August 31, 2012
Travis Okulski

I'm not rich or cool enough to live in Manhattan, so each evening I slog home from Jalopnik world headquarters to scenic Jersey City, NJ.

But it ain't all that bad. Yes, I live one block from where Snooki and JWoww did, but last night I discovered that our Deputy Mayor drives a green Porsche Cayman R.

Niiiiice!

It appears Deputy Mayor Raj Mukherji made the money for the Cayman through Impact NJ, a New Jersey based lobbying firm. If true, that means there is at least one NJ politician that didn't get it through corruption, the mafia, or other dubious means. Yay!

And because he made more than $500,000 from that job in 2011, he decided to only accept $1 as his salary for being the Deputy Mayor. He is still a part owner of Impact NJ, but is no longer involved in daily dealings.

Taxpayers only pay his health insurance, since he no longer receives it from Impact.

But who cares about those formal political dealies? He drives a Cayman R. That alone makes him ok in my book.

http://jalopnik.com/5939349/the-deput ... jersey-city-is-a-gearhead
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Posted on: 2012/8/31 17:27
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Port Authority shows off $66M command center
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Port Authority shows off $66M command center

Tuesday August 28, 2012, 8:03 PM
The Record

JERSEY CITY — Officials from the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey are getting ready to celebrate the 50th anniversary of PATH train service between the two states.

They're also unveiling a new command center that combines train operations and security functions under one roof.

Among the features of the $66 million center in Jersey City is a wall with nearly 200 video screens, which show camera feeds from PATH's 13 stations. Security staffers say there are many more cameras whose images also can be accessed.

The new center is scheduled to go into full-time operation in January.

The Port Authority took over the old Hudson and Manhattan Railroad in 1962. Last year, nearly 77 million passengers rode PATH trains between New York and Hoboken, Jersey City and Newark.

http://www.northjersey.com/news/Port_ ... f_66M_command_center.html

Posted on: 2012/8/29 5:18
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Re: Armed robbery on 5th btwn Erie & Jersey late Friday night
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EXCLUSIVE: Jersey City Man Says He Was The Victim In Gang Training Seminar

Says A Boy As Young As 12 Looked Like A Veteran During Robbery

August 28, 2012 11:09 PM

JERSEY CITY, N.J. (CBS 2) — A man claims he was the victim of a training mission – the target of a 12-year-old boy being taught by older kids how to steal.

The victim recounted the gunpoint attack in an exclusive interview with CBS 2’s Derricke Dennis on Tuesday.

It was frightening encounter at gunpoint. A 27-year-old man said he was followed down the street last Friday, confronted, held up and patted down.

“He was just holding the gun right here,” the victim said, demonstrating. “He was just checking my front pockets, my back pockets, and front pockets.”

The man said he was robbed of everything — by a trio of teenagers. Flyers described the youngest as being around 12 and the oldest around 17.

“It looked like as if the two older guys was teaching the younger kid how to rob people, you know, like gang or something,” the victim said.

CBS 2 protected his identity, but he talked about the disturbing attack on 5th Street between Erie and Jersey avenues. He retraced his steps, outraged at how young, how bold, and how armed the teenagers were.

“Two of them had guns, yes, so, yeah, it was pretty scary I would say,” the victim said.

He said his wallet with cash, a cell phone, his bank card, student ID, and work authorization card, costing close to $400, were all swiped.

“More than the cash, I’m more worried about the cards, because it’s really a long process to get the driver’s license back, and the work authorization card back and everything,” the victim said.

After the late-night attack, the victim said he got in touch with the neighborhood association, which posted the flyers all around, hoping someone saw the attack or might have surveillance video of the young thugs.

“There was a risk that it could have ended badly, so I didn’t take any chances,” the victim said.

So, there was no fighting back and not even a look at the trio of robbers. A gun to the temple showed how threatening a robbery can be, at any age.

Jersey City police are looking for robbers, and have officers patrolling the area.

http://newyork.cbslocal.com/2012/08/2 ... in-gang-training-seminar/

Posted on: 2012/8/29 5:12
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Re: Stop the Planning Board from making Peter Mocco's Liberty Harbor North into skyscraperville
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Controversial changes to Jersey City waterfront set to go before City Council

August 27, 2012, 2:07 PM
By Terrence T. McDonald/The Jersey Journal

A controversial plan to adjust the size and shape of portions of Jersey City’s Liberty Harbor development is set to be reviewed by the City Council next month, a plan that riles community leaders who call it a “radical change” to the city's Waterfront.

The proposed changes, which its planners say will make the area “the crown jewel of Jersey City's revitalized Waterfront skyline,” would create a seven-block neighborhood called the Tidewater Basin District within Liberty Harbor North, and would increase the maximum height of proposed high-rises in the district to as tall as 55 stories.

Density would also rise under the changes, which seek to add up to 1,900 residential units in the seven proposed residential buildings. That would bring the total number of units in the seven buildings to roughly 6,600.

The new district would sit between Marin Boulevard and Jersey Avenue, directly across the Morris Canal basin from Liberty State Park. The plan would add more than three acres of public space and “public boating opportunities,” including a three-block park at the foot of Liberty View Drive.

Former North Bergen mayor Peter Mocco is the developer behind Liberty Harbor, the 80-acre Waterfront project that is only about 30 percent complete. Mocco told The Jersey Journal that the proposed changes were dictated by “the market.”

“The market has voted for taller buildings that have a much smaller footprint than the larger buildings that are more squat,” Mocco said, adding that high-rises outsell smaller apartment buildings “three to one.”

City Planner Bob Cotter, who has endorsed the changes, echoed Mocco’s statement, saying the plan “is the essence of New Urbanism,” an urban-design movement that stresses walkable environments, public spaces and diverse neighborhoods.

The changes may result in more units, but that’s just because the footprint of the units decrease from 1,400 to 900 square feet, according to Cotter.

“It did not add a single square foot of development,” he said in a statement. “It reorganized the buildings' form from squat blocks into graceful, slender point towers.”

But residents are concerned about the proposal, with a post on online message board JC List saying the changes would turn Liberty Harbor into “skyscraper-ville.”

“These changes pose grave concerns due to the increasing of density to such a large degree in a very ecologically sensitive part of the city,” says Sam Pesin, president of the Friends of Liberty State Park, in an email he sent recently to residents of the area.

Pesin’s email was the result of rumors that the Planning Board would approve the plan at its Aug. 21 meeting.

But that board, which already approved the Tidewater Basin plan back in 2009, was merely reviewing other, smaller changes to the Liberty Harbor plan, while the council is set to take up the larger changes in September.

http://www.nj.com/hudson/index.ssf/20 ... ial_changes_to_jerse.html

Posted on: 2012/8/27 18:13
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Re: Red light traffic camera
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Yes, he said it: Red-light cameras all about the money

August 24, 2012, 5:33 PM
By Star-Ledger Editorial Board

Every so often, a kernel of truth manages to squeak past the spin.

That's the case in Fort Lee, where Mayor Mark Sokolich told his constituents that, yes, he wants to install red-light cameras in town – and, yes, it’s about the money.

Sokolich has gone somewhat off the reservation in this case. The official talking points from the state Department of Transportation, the vendors providing camera systems to dozens of New Jersey towns, and the mayors and police chiefs in those municipalities, are that the red-light camera program is there to make the roads safer. Most recently, a top vendor, American Traffic Solutions, coordinated a PR campaign with local officials who use their red-light cameras meant to remind New Jersey that the cameras are about preventing accidents, not writing tickets.

And then Sokolich goes and tells his people the truth. At least the truth in Fort Lee: “Yeah, for money reasons. There, I said it. These things generate income," Sokolich told The Record.

That grain of honesty earned Fort Lee's mayor a rebuke from state Sen. Michael Doherty (R-Warren), an outspoken critic of the red-light cameras who wants New Jersey's program to end. Doherty correctly called Sokolich on the carpet for buying into the blatant money-grab of the red-light cameras.

Despite claims that the cameras increase red-light obedience and prevent dangerous, potentially fatal collisions caused by red-light runners, statistics across the country - in other states where red-light cameras are used - show that the programs generate millions of dollars in traffic tickets from people who, most often, commit the offense of rolling through a right turn on red, rather than driving straight through the red signal. Studies also show the cameras can lead to an increase in rear-end collisions caused by drivers who slam on their brakes when a light turns yellow to avoid an $85 fine from a robotic camera system.

There's little question that red-light cameras are more about money than safety. Nationwide, the stats prove that the vast majority of tickets are for relatively minor offenses that, technically, break the red-light traffic rules. Doherty and other lawmakers critical of the state's program are right to seek its end.

And Mayor Sokolich, while on the wrong side of the issue - at least in the eyes of his constituents - was refreshingly correct in speaking the truth

http://blog.nj.com/njv_editorial_page ... d_it_red-light_camer.html

Posted on: 2012/8/25 3:02
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Re: Jersey City school board rejects contract for new superintendent
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Jersey City prospective school superintendent accepts new deal

August 24, 2012, 9:59 AM
By Terrence T. McDonald/The Jersey Journal

Jersey City's prospective schools superintendent Marcia V. Lyles accepted today four revisions Board of Education members made Wednesday to the contract she had been originally offered, leaving only state officials to sign off on the new agreement.

The revisions do not represent major changes to the original nearly four-year agreement, which grants Lyles a $231,000 annual salary.

Lyles, who is moving from Delaware to Jersey City, tomorrow could not be reached tonight to comment.

Board president Suzanne Mack said tonight that Lyles' agreement to the revisions and the state's anticipated sign-off means the 29,000-student school district can now get back to the business of education.

"I am absolutely thrilled that we are finally going to move toward the beginning of the school year with a new superintendent," Mack said. "For the past few months, the entire focus has been on getting a superintendent and now it's time to refocus on what's really important, which is the delivery of the best services for our children."

The changes, approved unanimously at a special board meeting Wednesday night, came a week after the board rejected the original pact with Lyles that one Lyles supporter called "vague."

The revisions include setting up goals for Lyles to meet before she can be awarded merit pay, and authorizing the school board to create an action plan if Lyles shows any weaknesses during performance evaluations, according to Mack.

Board member Sangeeta Ranade, a Lyles supporter, said in a statement that she hoped Wednesday night's vote translates into a final, unanimous vote to appoint her as the new schools chief.

"It will show her that we value the experience she brings and show the special interests that there is a united front to focus on students," Ranade said.

The merit pay clause of the contract -- Lyles would be able to receive a roughly $34,000 bonus each year -- was particularly controversial, with board members who voted against the agreement last week saying Lyles shouldn't get any kind of performance bonus until at least the second year of the nearly four-year agreement.

Under the revisions, the BOE would set up goals by Oct. 31, and Lyles would have to meet them before being awarded any first-year bonus, according to Mack, who added that the board is under no obligation to award Lyles merit pay.

The other revisions require the BOE to set up goals for Lyles' second year by next April, pushed back from January in the original contract; permit Lyles to use the school district's attorney, not the BOE attorney, for work-related disputes; and eliminate some language from Lyles' job description.

A longtime school official in New York City, Lyles has spent the last three years as the superintendent for the Christina district in northern Delaware.

Her contract now has to be approved the county superintendent, which is really the state Department of Education local representative.

The contract would then be sent back to the local school board for a vote, which Mack anticipates taking place Tuesday or Thursday.

Journal staff writer Ken Thorbourne contributed to this story.

http://www.nj.com/hudson/index.ssf/20 ... y_prospective_school.html

Posted on: 2012/8/25 2:58
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Re: New hotel planned for One Exchange Place
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Jersey City Planning Board green-lights old bank building becoming new hotel

August 23, 2012, 9:01 AM
By Terrence T. McDonald/The Jersey Journal

A Downtown Jersey City office building will be transformed into a 250-room luxury hotel with a public space on the roof that will boast sweeping vistas of the Manhattan skyline, thanks to the Planning Board’s near-unanimous approval of the project’s final site plan.

The building, located at One Exchange Place, would look largely as it does now, with the exception of a glass-enclosed, three-story addition on the top, an exterior elevator on the building’s south side that would ferry non-hotel guests to the top floor, and a narrow, 10-story extension on the east.

Seven Planning Board members voted Tuesday in favor of the final site plan, while Nidia Lopez, also the Ward C councilwoman, abstained. Board member Karen J. McIntyre called the design “very, very simple.”

“I think it’s a great showcase for Jersey City,” McIntyre said. “I love this.”

A city official in June said Concord was acquiring the Exchange Place property for $14 million. The 10-story structure was built in 1920 as a bank.

Lopez called the project “beautiful,” but said she abstained from voting because she’s concerned about the lack of parking at the hotel. Concord officials said that hotel guests will park at nearby private parking facilities, or will arrive via the PATH train or the Hudson-Bergen Light Rail.

That idea struck resident Yvonne Balcer as unrealistic.

“Let’s be realistic. Unless the Light Rail goes out to Newark Airport, no one’s going to take the Light Rail to come here,” Balcer said.

City planning officials recommended the project receive approval, while planner Jeff Wenger cautioned that they have “concerns” regarding the design of a pedestrian plaza and drop-off area on the proposed hotel’s northern side, an area now used by commuters headed to the Exchange Place PATH station.

Tuesday’s approval had the condition that Concord redesign a portion of the plaza to make it more pedestrian-friendly.

http://www.nj.com/jjournal-news/index ... y_planning_board_gre.html

Posted on: 2012/8/24 0:38
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Jersey City council approves cutting council president’s term in half
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Jersey City council approves cutting council president’s term in half

August 23, 2012, 12:00 PM
By Terrence T. McDonald/The Jersey Journal

Starting next year, Jersey City’s City Council president will have a term of two years, instead of the current four-year span.

The council voted 5-3 last night to make the change, which won’t happen until a new council takes over next July. The identical council majority attempted in January to make the change immediately, but Mayor Jerramiah Healy vetoed the measure.

Council members David Donnelly, Steve Fulop, Rolando Lavarro, Nidia Lopez and Viola Richardson voted in favor. Councilman Peter Brennan, the current council president, voted against, along with Bill Gaughan and Michael Sottolano. Ward F Councilwoman Michele Massey was absent.

Lopez said the change would allow for “a fresh start” every two years if the council so wishes, a thought echoed by others in the council majority.

Gaughan, meanwhile, called the ordinance “unfair” to the next council.

“It should be their decision, not ours,” Gaughan said.

The council also unanimously approved a measure hiring a Wisconsin firm as a debt collector to round up overdue fines owed to the Municipal Court. The contract doesn’t have a price tag attached because the firm will receive a portion of the money it collects.

http://www.nj.com/jjournal-news/index ... y_council_approves_c.html

Posted on: 2012/8/23 22:07
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Re: Jersey City school board rejects contract for new superintendent
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Jersey City school board revises controversial contract with prospective schools chief

August 23, 2012, 1:23 PM
By Terrence T. McDonald/The Jersey Journal

Four revisions have been made to the contract the Jersey City Board of Education is offering prospective schools superintendent Marcia V. Lyles, and the new pact now awaits approval from Lyles and from state education officials.

The changes come a week after the board rejected the terms of the original contract, with even one Lyles supporter calling the agreement "vague."

The revisions include setting up goals for Lyles to meet before she can be awarded merit pay, and authorizing the school board to create an action plan if Lyles shows any weaknesses during performance evaluations, according to BOE President Sue Mack.

Lyles supporter Sangeeta Ranade said in a statement that she hopes last night's vote translates into a final, unanimous vote to appoint her as the new schools chief.

"It will show her that we value the experience she brings and show the special interests that there is a united front to focus on students," Ranade said.

The merit pay clause of the contract – Lyles would be able to receive a roughly $34,000 bonus each year – was particularly controversial, with board members who voted against the agreement last week saying Lyles shouldn’t get any kind of performance bonus until at least the second year of the nearly four-year pact, which grants Lyles a $231,000 annual salary.

Under the revisions, approved unanimously at a special board meeting last night, the BOE would set up goals by October 31, and Lyles would have to meet them before being awarded any first-year bonus, according to Mack, who added that the board is under no obligation to award Lyles merit pay.

The other revisions require the BOE to set up goals for Lyles’ second year by next April, pushed back from January in the original contract; permit Lyles to use the school district’s attorney, not the BOE attorney, for work-related disputes; and eliminate some language from Lyles’ job description.

The new agreement has been sent to Lyles’ attorney for review, and then to the Hudson County schools superintendent. Mack said she hopes that will happen within the next 72 hours, permitting the board to finalize Lyles’ appointment at its regular meeting next Thursday.

Lyles’ appointment was set to be finalized last week, but the BOE deadlocked in a 4-4 vote on approving the contract. Mack said board members indicated last night that if the revisions are OK’d by Lyles and the county superintendent, they will not stand in the way of her appointment.

Lyles is reportedly moving to Jersey City tomorrow.

http://www.nj.com/hudson/index.ssf/20 ... y_school_board_revis.html

Posted on: 2012/8/23 22:04
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Bistate coalition asks Congress to fund Liberty State Park wetlands restoration
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Bistate coalition asks Congress to fund Liberty State Park wetlands restoration

Wednesday, August 22, 2012, 9:41 AM
By Daniel Reyes/The Jersey Journal

A restoration project at Liberty State Park in Jersey City is on hold due to a lack of federal funding and a bistate advocacy organization wants Congress to get off the dime.

The NY-NJ Harbor Coalition, which wants to bring more federal funding to the New York/New Jersey harbor region, recently sent a letter to both states’ congressional delegations, urging the members to change the federal policy on how money is allocated for water infrastructure projects.

The Office of Management and Budget’s current guidelines prioritize funding for projects with the lowest cost per acre.

According to Lilo Stainton, the coalition’s campaign director, that policy is biased against urban areas since the cost per acre in urban areas is significantly higher than areas in the Midwest.

“The policy puts urban environmental projects at a disadvantage,” she said.

For example, the coalition says, this policy has impeded efforts by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and others to restore hundreds of acres of wetlands at Liberty State Park, noting more than $20 million in federal funding is needed to begin this job.

New Jersey Sen. Robert Menendez said yesterday he fully backs federal support of the Liberty State Park project.

“I have long been a supporter and champion of the Liberty State Park Restoration, which is why in 2009 I challenged and sought reconsideration of the Bush-era determination that it did not meet the threshold for an appropriate level of investment,” Menendez said in a statement.

“The estuary . . . would also be a boon to the State of New Jersey and to millions of people who visit the park for recreational purposes,” he said. “I will continue to push for the federal investment in this restoration project.”

http://www.nj.com/jjournal-news/index ... bor_coalition_asking.html

Posted on: 2012/8/22 16:06
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Re: Jersey City school board rejects contract for new superintendent
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Jersey City Board of Education meeting tonight to discuss alterations to Lyles contract

Wednesday, August 22, 2012, 9:41 AM
By Terrence T. McDonald/The Jersey Journal

The Jersey City Board of Education will meet tonight to discuss changing the terms of a proposed contract with the school district’s prospective new superintendent.

The school board met last week to finalize its agreement with Marcia V. Lyles, the board’s choice to replace former schools chief Charles T. Epps Jr. But the board, down one member, deadlocked 4-4 after one Lyles supporter called the contract “vague” and insisted it have a clause permitting the board to fire Lyles for poor performance.

BOE president Sue Mack said tonight’s meeting will begin with a short public comment session, after which the board will convene behind closed doors to discuss the contract. If the board agrees on changes, the pact will head to the state Education Department and to Lyles for their review and approval.

Lyles, who worked for decades as a teacher and administrator in the New York City public school system, most recently was schools chief for Delaware’s largest school district. Her tenure in Jersey City had been set to begin yesterday until the contract was torpedoed at last week’s meeting.

The meeting begins at 6 p.m. in the sixth-floor conference room of the BOE’s headquarters, 346 Claremont Ave.

http://www.nj.com/jjournal-news/index ... oard_of_education_17.html

Posted on: 2012/8/22 16:03
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Re: Schundler to head new charter school scheduled for 2012
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Bret Schundler makes a comeback -- with new charter school in Jersey City

August 21, 2012, 8:19 PM
By Anthony J. Machcinski/The Jersey Journal

The BelovED Community Charter School in Jersey City is opening its doors to students next month and perhaps no one is more excited than a former Jersey City mayor who is also a former state education commissioner.

"I love education," Bret Schundler said today inside a classroom of BelovED, which opens Sept. 5 at 508 Grand St., the former home of the now-defunct Schomburg Charter School. "Nothing expands opportunity (for children) more than a great education."

Schundler, who's acted as an advisor to the school's founding board, opened the Golden Door Charter School in 1998 when he was mayor of Jersey City.
Charters are publicly-funded schools run by nonprofits and other entities that are outside the district's control.

BelovED is the only charter school opening this year in Hudson County, which now has 13 charter schools.

The school, which takes its name from Martin Luther King Jr.'s talk about the "beloved community," will open with 360 students, kindergarten through second-grade, and plans to add a grade each year up to Grade 12.

The school will utilize a teaching method that calls for weekly evaluations of how students are performing.

"We're checking you all the way," Schundler said. "You have instant information now on whether the children followed (the lesson) or not. The teacher doesn't have to hope students followed it because this check is part of the lesson."

Schundler was fired by Gov. Christie in August, 2010 following a dispute over the state's application for federal "Race to the Top" funding.

The school's "lead person," Kelly Convery, said teachers, who were in training the past few days, are raring to go.

"You know that with teachers and administrators coming on board, we all have the same objective and we're all moving toward the same goal," said Convery.

Dean of students Victoria De Leon said working for BelovED has allowed her to return to her roots.

"I grew up in Jersey City and always wanted to give back to the community," De Leon said. "I jumped at the chance to work with (Schundler) and work at this school."

For more information about the school, visit website at www.belovedccs.org

http://www.nj.com/hudson/index.ssf/20 ... dler_makes_a_comebac.html

Posted on: 2012/8/22 2:52
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Hoboken, Jersey City & Secaucus to be 'hospitality zones' for Super Bowl 2014
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Hoboken, Jersey City & Secaucus to be 'hospitality zones' for 2014 Super Bowl

August 21, 2012, 7:19 PM
By Terrence T. McDonald/The Jersey Journal

Hoboken, Jersey City and Secaucus have been identified as Hudson County’s “hospitality zones” for tourists headed to the Meadowlands in 2014 to watch the XLVIII Super Bowl.

The three municipalities will be the focus of events scheduled to begin next summer, and increasing in frequency as the 2014 contest gets close, intended to increase awareness and excitement for New Jersey’s first Super Bowl, according to Bill LaRosa, director of the Hudson County Department of Cultural Affairs and Heritage/Tourism.

LaRosa’s office is tasked with coming up with the schedule of events, which he said will not all be football-related. There may be a special restaurant week, a fashion show and more, he said.

“We’ll have more of a plan as months go by,” LaRosa said.

The XLVIII Super Bowl -- the first outdoor, cold-weather Super Bowl -- is set for Feb. 2, 2014 at MetLife stadium.

http://www.nj.com/hudson/index.ssf/20 ... rsey_city_secaucus_t.html

Posted on: 2012/8/22 2:43
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Re: Stop the Planning Board from making Peter Mocco's Liberty Harbor North into skyscraperville
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Jersey City Planning Board postpones hearing on proposed changes to Liberty Harbor

August 21, 2012, 8:43 PM
By Terrence T. McDonald/The Jersey Journal

A hearing on proposed changes to three blocks in Liberty Harbor on Jersey City’s Waterfront was postponed tonight after a city official said the public needs more information on the plan before they could comment.

The changes would affect the size and height of buildings at two locations, one at the corner of Jersey Avenue and Grand Street and the other about a block south of Marin Boulevard and Grand Street.

The proposal would also create a public park at Regent Street and Liberty View Drive.

But the hearing, scheduled in front of the Planning Board, was postponed when board Chair Michael A. Ryan told city planning officials that they hadn’t provided enough information on the proposed changes.

“This is a sensitive subject,” Ryan said before postponing the public hearing. “Looking at what’s here, how can anyone comment on it?”

The hearing has been moved to the Planning Board’s Sept. 4 meeting.

There was a flurry of communication between community activists over the weekend claiming the Planning Board was set to hear a radical change in the size, height and density of various proposed buildings along the Waterfront, but city planning officials insisted yesterday that the changes under discussion would only affect three city blocks, not an entire stretch of the Waterfront overlooking Liberty State Park.

A post on online message board JC List claimed the changes under consideration would have turned Liberty Harbor into “skyscraperrville.” Those changes, planning officials said, were actually approved by the Planning Board years ago and still need an OK from the City Council.

http://www.nj.com/hudson/index.ssf/20 ... y_planning_board_pos.html

Posted on: 2012/8/22 2:32
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Re: Jersey City school board rejects contract for new superintendent
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Was outgoing Jersey City school board trustee eligible to vote on superintendent contract?

The Hudson Reporter
Aug 17, 2012

JERSEY CITY - When outgoing Jersey City Board of Education trustee Marvin Adames sent out a press statement on Aug. 2 announcing his resignation, most parents and members of the public assumed the resignation was effective immediately. After all, the press statement specifically said the resignation was effective immediately.

As it turns out, Adames had not officially given written notification of his resignation to Board Chairwoman Suzanne Mack. Adames did not officially resign until 3 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 17.

In an e-mailed letter sent from his iPhone, Adames wrote to Mack:

Dear Madam President:

In the recent past, I announced my intent to resign from my position as a Board Member of the Jersey City Public Schools, and thus my position as Vice President.

My swearing-in to be a Newark Municipal Judge takes place today, Friday, Aug. 17, 2012 at 5p.m. As a member of the judiciary, I will no longer be allowed to participate on the board.

Consequently, I officially resign my post on the board today, Friday, Aug. 17, 2012 at 3 p.m. It has been a great pleasure to serve; I am certain the District will continue to achieve and find success.

I can schedule a time to turn in my laptop, IPad, ID, car placard, Board Office key and any other items that may be required. Thank you much for your commitment to the Board, the District and each student in the Jersey City Public Schools.

Marvin Adames
Sent from my iPhone

Mack later posted the following statement to her Facebook page:

"I have recieved Marvin's resignation effective today at 3pm. I will accept it formally on August 30th at which time I will call for nomination to replace him from the remaining members as Vice Chair. We will also announce the process we will entertain to fill his seat until the next Board election in April 2013, In that election there will be four seats up 3 for 3 year

terms and 1 for a one year term expiring in 2014. The 65 days we have to fill the seat begins today. We wish Marvin and his family the best as he embarks on his Judgeship."

Why it's significant

The exact timing of Adames' official resignation is significant because on Wednesday, Aug. 15, the remaining eight board members deadlocked over whether or not to ratify a contract for incoming superintendent of schools Dr. Marcia Lyles. Lyles' $231,000-a-year contract failed to be ratified Wednesday when the board vote was split 4-4.

Adames did not attend Wednesday's meeting and did not participate in the vote, which made sense if he resigned on Aug. 2. Given that his resignation was not official until Aug. 17, it is likely he could have participated in all board matters until then. Indeed, he could have cast the deciding vote to ratify Lyles' contract.

Instead, the 4-4 vote likely killed the original contract and will now force the board and Lyles to renegotiate her terms of employment.

In the meantime, some residents are now asking whether Adames' absence from the ratification vote will further complicate matters. According to state law, school boards can "contract a superintendent of schools by the recorded roll call majority vote of the full membership of the board."

Since the full Jersey City school board was not present for the Aug. 15 ratification vote, because Adames was absent, it is not clear whether the ratification vote is valid. - E. Assata Wright

http://www.hudsonreporter.com/view/fu ... te_lead_story_left_column

Posted on: 2012/8/20 14:55
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Jersey City is hiring debt collector to go after municipal court scofflaws
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Jersey City is hiring debt collector to go after municipal court scofflaws

August 18, 2012, 3:02 AM
By Terrence T. McDonald/The Jersey Journal

Faced with decreasing revenue and rising costs, Jersey City is taking a page from other municipalities nationwide by seeking a debt-collection service to round up cash owed to its Municipal Court.

The City Council on Wednesday is scheduled to vote on a measure that would hire Milwaukee, Wis., firm Duncan Solutions to collect delinquent debt from defendants who owe money because of guilty pleas. Duncan is one of 14 firms that answered the city’s request for proposals.

The firm would be paid from the fees it collects, so no taxpayer money is involved in the five-year contract the council is set to approve.

New Jersey municipalities were given the go-ahead to use debt collectors to gather unpaid fines by a 2011 state Supreme Court rule. Bridgeton was the first city permitted to collect fines via a debt collector.

Matthew Weng, attorney for the New Jersey League of Municipalities, said the lobbying group is “very happy” municipalities now have the option of using an outside debt collector. With a 2 percent tax-levy cap, towns and cities are struggling to come up with cash, and are too understaffed to do it on their own, Weng said.

“There’s a lot of money out there in uncollected court debt, and it’s money that’s legitimately owed by these individuals, who for whatever reason have decided not to pay,” he said.

The Jersey City Municipal Court brought in $9.9 million in fines last year, and this year expects to rake in $12.7 million.

The council meets for its regular meeting on Wednesday at City Hall, 280 Grove St., starting at 6 p.m.

http://www.nj.com/jjournal-news/index ... y_is_hiring_debt_col.html

Posted on: 2012/8/20 14:50
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State of Jersey City Mayor Healy's record six months after speech
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State of Jersey City Mayor Healy's record six months after speech

August 19, 2012, 1:36 PM
By Terrence T. McDonald/The Jersey Journal

It's been six months since Jersey City Mayor Jerramiah Healy gave his State of the City address, and there has been zero public movement on one of his big promises, while another has been abandoned altogether.

Healy said in a statement last week there are reasons why he gave up on his pledge to merge the city Department of Public Works and the Jersey City Incinerator Authority, while he promises to have a report on his other big pledge, to create a Department of Public Safety, ready for review next month.

Regarding the DPW/JCIA merger, a long-discussed proposal that Healy endorsed in a 2010 editorial in The Jersey Journal, Healy said the city investigated the idea, and opted to keep both entities alive, albeit downsized.

The DPW and the JCIA are similar, but should not be merged because they have different pension systems, there would be issues regarding staff seniority and their employees are enrolled in different unions, city Business Administrator Jack Kelly writes in a June 5 memo.

"The administration recommends the entities remain intact," the memo reads.

Meanwhile, the creation of the Department of Public Safety, which would combine the directors of the police and fire departments into one position, has yet to materialize. Healy pitched the plan as a cost-saving measure.

Morrill said the proposal, which includes dissolving the Parking Authority and folding it into the new department, is "still under review."

Ward E Councilman Steve Fulop, a Healy antagonist and 2013 mayoral aspirant, says the city has done no planning for the new department.

"I was not surprised nothing came from his State of the City, as his follow through is as empty as the lot in Journal Square he spoke about from the previous State of the City," Fulop said, referring to the long-vacant lot Healy said in 2009 would be home to a massive twin tower project.

The barb elicited a retort from Healy.

"This administration has accomplished many things, including creating development and jobs, reducing crime and obtaining federal grants to hire police and firefighters to fill the void created by recent retirements," he said.

"All of these things serve to improve the city and quality of life for the residents, while Steve Fulop has had only one agenda, which is to advance his own political career."

There are a number of promises Healy made in February's address, his fifth, that have seen some follow-through. Healy's legal team is continuing to pursue ways to halt construction of the controversial Spectra Energy pipeline, as promised, and the city has gone after property owners who own vacant, blighted lots, another pledge.

Over 300 formerly blighted properties have been removed from a list that originally included nearly 1,000 lots, Morrill said.

Still, the mayor also promised a budget that "does not raise taxes," while the 2012 budget adopted late last month contains a slight tax bump of about $27 per year for the average homeowner.

http://www.nj.com/hudson/index.ssf/20 ... ersey_city_mayor_hea.html

Posted on: 2012/8/20 14:47
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Re: Signs of life at JScare? 42-story residential tower on tap for Jersey City
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Plan would put 3 towers next to Jersey City's Journal Square PATH

August 16, 2012, 2:20 PM
By Terrence T. McDonald/The Jersey Journal

Journal Square could soon be home to Jersey City’s largest buildings, with the developers behind some Downtown developments hoping to break ground next year on three residential/office towers that could reach up to 75 stories and contain as many as 1,800 units.

Though members of the surrounding neighborhood are reportedly nervous about the size of the towers, developers KRE Group say they will be a dream for commuters because of a planned, direct connection to the PATH station.

“You wouldn’t even have to be exposed to the elements,” said KRE’s Jeff Persky last week in the group’s Marin Boulevard office, where there’s a model of the three towers.

The towers will be located just north of the public drop-off for the PATH station in the area of Magnolia and Summit avenues. The drop-off area will remain, and KRE is working with the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey to renovate that end of Magnolia to become a pedestrian plaza.

KRE will also renovate access to the PATH station on that side, replacing the current steps and ramps.

Persky said the group hopes to put a shovel in the ground by the end of 2013 on the first tower, which would contain 500 residential units along with retail on the ground floor. All three towers would likely house about 1,800 units total, he said.

City spokeswoman Jennifer Morrill said the city is “looking forward” to the groundbreaking, noting that a project of this density makes sense for Journal Square, where PATH ridership is fourth-highest in the area.

“It will create much-needed construction and permanent jobs, as well as ratables, in an area that is poised for a renaissance,” Morrill said.

The project is just one of at least three possibly transformative developments planned for Journal Square. Washington, D.C.-based Multi-Employer Property Trust plans two towers for the lot just south of the PATH station a long-delayed project that city officials fear may never happen while developer Robinhood Plaza wants to construct a residential tower as high as 42 stories on a lot across Summit Avenue from the planned KRE towers.

A city official called that project “a pipe dream,” adding that the KRE plan is the city’s “best shot at jump-starting the Square.”

Local activist Althea Bernheim said the KRE plan is causing some “nervousness” in the neighborhood, but added that similar towers in Downtown have “created better neighborhoods.”

http://www.nj.com/jjournal-news/index ... _put_3_towers_next_t.html

Posted on: 2012/8/16 22:07
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Re: Bruce Alston Charged with Real Estate Fraud: Jersey Journal
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Jersey City politician Bruce Alston indicted, says charges unfounded

August 16, 2012, 2:19 PM
By Michaelangelo Conte/The Jersey Journal

Former state Senate and Jersey City City Council candidate Bruce Alston has been indicted on charges of witness tampering and making terroristic threats, officials said.

Alston said the charges are unfounded.

The indictment comes three weeks after The Jersey Journal reported that related charges of theft and conspiracy filed against Alston had been dropped by the Hudson County Prosecutor’s Office following the alleged victim’s death.

Alston’s arrest in January was a result of allegations that he had been involved in a fraudulent real estate transaction, and the charges in the indictment pertain to a man who was a potential witness in that case.

In the indictment, the terroristic threats charge alleges Alston threatened to commit assault upon a witness, Hudson County Assistant Prosecutor Leo Hernandez said.

The witness tampering charge alleges Alston, believing that an official proceeding or investigation was pending, attempted to cause the witness to withhold testimony by threatening force, Hernandez said.

According to police, Alston entered a Communipaw Avenue restaurant the night of Jan. 16 and encountered a man who later told police he “may have some incriminating information regarding” Alston’s case.

Alston told the man, “I’m gonna (expletive) you up” while signaling to two men sitting in a car outside, police reports said. Alston fled the scene when the victim said he planned to call the police, according to reports.

Alston yesterday conceded he used profanity, but said it was only in response to the man’s profane comments.

“He made a comment to me and I basically told him to go (expletive) himself,” Alston said yesterday. “This is someone who is an opportunist. I don’t know how he felt threatened. I didn’t tell him I was going to do it, I told him to do it to himself.”

Alston said yesterday that he had gotten a ride to the restaurant from his mother and when he waved, it had been to tell her to pull up the car. He said he had not fled, but simply walked out, said hello to two older men across the street, and got into car.

Alston said he had no idea the person might be a witness in the case that has since been dropped until he read the police report about his own arrest.

Hernandez said Alston will be formally arraigned in Hudson County Superior Court in September.

http://www.nj.com/jjournal-news/index ... politician_bruce_a_1.html

Posted on: 2012/8/16 22:00
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NY Post: Jersey City development is on the march to greater heights
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Path to glory - Jersey City development is on the march to greater heights

By MAX GROSS - New York Post

August 16, 2012

Like some desperate boy on the make, Brooklyn and Long Island City spent a long time trying to convince apartment hunters to give them a chance.

Now it’s Jersey City’s turn.

Like Hunters Point and Williamsburg, Jersey City is close to Manhattan — only one train stop away (a PATH train, true). But new apartments are a lot cheaper, and a lot more plentiful, here than in the city.

And while new construction often seems stalled or small-ball in the five boroughs, Jersey City is shooting for the moon.

Manhattan trends including eco-friendly living are starting to appear at developments like Madox, the new rental building that will be the first LEED-certified residential building in Jersey City (as well as the first smoke-free one). Madox will open the Paulus Hook neighborhood this fall.

“It might be the first smoke-free [residential] building in New Jersey,” says James Caulfield Jr., a principal with Fields Development Group, which is putting up Madox.

Prices haven’t been set yet for the 131 apartments (there will also be at least two commercial spaces), but one can expect them to be in line with other newer Jersey City luxury properties (in the upper $30-to-lower-$40-per-square-foot range, per year).

In the next 15 months, Paulus Hook will get another boost of development with the Warren at York. This will be a 12-story, 139-unit rental building featuring one-, two- and three-bedrooms that range from 714 to 1,350 square feet.

“We’re going to have a gym, a media lounge, a pool table, a movie screen, sitting areas and a green roof,” says Jonathan Schwartz, senior vice president of BNE Real Estate Group, which is developing the Warren at York.

Clearly, eco-friendly has been accepted by more than one Jersey City developer.

Madox and the Warren at York are smaller than other Jersey City developments in the works. The new 18 Park, which broke ground this summer, will be an 11-story building with 422 apartments; the residences will sit atop the 34,000-square-foot Boys & Girls Club of Hudson County and 10,000 square feet of retail. The development should be finished by early 2014.

“This was kind of a win-win transaction,” says Josiah Wuestneck, senior vice president at Ironstate Development, which is building 18 Park with KRE Group. The Boys & Girls Club “needed a new home and an endowment to ensure longevity of organization. They had an existing site, so we worked out a deal where we would build them the new space and relocate them.”

While this sounds mammoth, also on Ironstate’s plate is Harborside Financial Center, which is being developed in partnership with Mack-Cali Realty. This is a three-phase project that will bring over 2,000 units to market, as well as several million square feet of office space.

“We’re going to break ground on the first building, which is 69 stories,” in the fourth quarter of this year, Wuestneck says. Ironstate is planning 766 apartments in this first tower. This first phase of Harborside, should be finished in early 2015. (The other two towers are expected to be similar in design and size.)

And if that’s not enough, Newport is also planning more buildings — although so far the developer LeFrak has been mum about any of the details.

Eat your heart out, Long Island City!


Read more: http://www.nypost.com/p/news/business ... PyY7Bd3BhFP#ixzz23kTqRgea

Posted on: 2012/8/16 21:57
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Jersey City school board rejects contract for new superintendent
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Jersey City school board rejects contract for new superintendent after four-hour meeting

August 15, 2012, 10:53 PM
By Terrence T. McDonald/The Jersey Journal

In a surprise move, a split Jersey City Board of Education tonight voted down a nearly four-year contract that would have appointed Marcia V. Lyles as the school district’s new superintendent.

The action capped an emotional, four-hour meeting that saw nearly a dozen members of the public urging the board against approving the pact, which would have awarded Lyles a $231,000 annual salary.

The board voted 4-4, with members Vidya Gangadin, Marilyn Roman, Angel Valentin and Sterling Waterman voting against. BOE President Sue Mack voted in favor, along with members Carol Harrison-Arnold, Carol Lester and Sangeeta Ranade. Measures that receive tie votes are rejected.

The board normally has nine members, but Marvin Adames, the former board vice president, resigned earlier this month to become a Newark municipal judge. Adames was a Lyles supporter.

Gangadin, who had previously voted in favor of Lyles’ appointment, said her beef is with the contract, calling it “vague” and saying it doesn’t have enough protections for the district if Lyles doesn’t perform up to standards.

Gangadin added that she has a problem with a provision of the contract that would have allowed Lyles to receive up to $34,630 in merit pay in her first year.

“You got to earn merit pay,” she said.

The crowd of about two dozen erupted into cheers when the voting was completed, with one woman screaming, “Thank you, Jesus!”

Board members who voted in favor of the agreement warned that the district is running out of time to put a schools chief in place.

“This is what the district needs to be able to move forward,” said Harrison-Arnold. “The issues that are being raised are not the substantive issues.

Harrison-Arnold, Lester and Waterman were not present, but participated via conference call.

The nearly four year agreement would have run from Monday to June 30, 2016. A board attorney said the board attempted to draft a contract that would end June 30, 2015, but state officials told them the pact had to run a minimum of three full years.

Lyles would have gotten a $201,384 base salary for the first nine months, and then $231,000 annually for the final three years. She would have received a benefits package valued at roughly $10,000 annually, as well as a district car available for “reasonable personal use” and up to $10,000 in moving expenses.

Mack said the board has to meet soon to discuss revising the contract. Lyles would then have to approve the revisions before it can be finalized.

http://www.nj.com/hudson/index.ssf/20 ... y_school_board_rejec.html

Posted on: 2012/8/16 21:53
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Saint Peter's College to become N.J.'s latest university
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Saint Peter's College to become N.J.'s latest university

August 14, 2012, 6:16 AM
By Kelly Heyboer/ The Star-Ledger

JERSEY CITY — More than 140 years after it was founded as a small liberal arts school in Jersey City, Saint Peter’s College is about to become New Jersey’s newest university.

School officials are expected to officially announce the new name — Saint Peter’s University — and unveil a new logo and seal today. Saint Peter’s will be the state’s third Catholic university, joining Seton Hall and Georgian Court.

The leap from college to university comes after years of expansion at the 3,000-student school, which began adding graduate programs in the 1990s. Earlier this year, Rochelle Hendricks, the state’s higher education secretary, approved Saint Peter’s application for university status.

Though it will have a new name and plans to further expand its graduate programs, Saint Peter’s will stick to it original mission as a Jesuit liberal arts college focused on undergraduates.

"Our basic way of operating is not going to change," said Eugene Cornacchia, president of Saint Peter’s. "Those are components of the college that will never change."

Though Saint Peter’s is officially unveiling its new identity today, the name change will become official Friday after the school’s attorneys file legal papers, Cornacchia said.

The criteria for university status varies from state to state. In most cases, schools are required to offer master’s or doctoral programs in order to call themselves universities.

New Jersey began relaxing its rules on granting university status in the 1990s, allowing colleges to become universities if they expanded their graduate programs, added majors and built up their libraries. Kean, Rider, Monmouth, William Paterson, Montclair State and Georgian Court were among the schools that became universities under the new rules.

Saint Peter’s began talking about applying for university status 15 years ago, but did not begin assembling its application until four years ago. Because the school already offers five master’s and two doctoral degrees, campus administrators said its bid for university status was relatively simple and inexpensive.

College officials said they wanted to make the change partly because being called a university will raise the school’s profile internationally and help attract more foreign students.

The college hired a branding and market research consulting firm to help remake its image. The new name means new stationery, signs, a new web address and renamed Twitter and Facebook sites.

Today, Saint Peter’s will also unveil a new logo with a new blue-and-white coat of arms. The new shield includes two keys symbolizing the Christian teaching that Saint Peter holds the keys to Heaven.

School officials have been reassuring students that Saint Peter’s, which charges undergraduates $30,320 in annual tuition — plus fees, will not raise its prices because it is now a university.

Students on the Jersey City campus said they were excited about the new name, which will begin appearing on their diplomas this year.

"University sounds a lot bigger than college," said Amanda Schaffer, 21, a senior graphic design major from Jersey City. "The first thing I plan to do is get a t-shirt that says ‘Saint Peter’s University.’"

Cornacchia said Saint Peter’s briefly considered a radical name change to go along with the upgrade to university status. But the president rejected a list of proposed names, including one that would have renamed the school Loyola and another that would have incorporated New Jersey into the new moniker.

In the end, Cornacchia decided Saint Peter’s should stay Saint Peter’s.

"For 140 years we’ve had Saint Peter’s in our name," Cornacchia said. "We’re not going to change now."

http://www.nj.com/news/index.ssf/2012 ... rs_college_to_become.html

Posted on: 2012/8/14 16:13
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Re: Bike thefts at Journal Square PATH station becoming 'an issue,' cops say
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Jersey City arrests put bike thefts in spotlight for Port Authority police

August 14, 2012, 7:23 AM
By Terrence T. McDonald/The Jersey Journal

Bicycle thefts at the Journal Square PATH station are becoming “an issue,” according to Port Authority Police, who say there were as many as five reported bike thefts or attempted bike thefts last week alone.

Port Authority Police spokesman Al Della Fave said police arrested four men last week after cops said they caught the men attempting to steal bikes from the rack near the escalators at the PATH station. There was a fifth reported possible bike theft, but police weren’t notified until two hours later, Della Fave said.

To help combat the problem, police plan to start a bike registration program that will allow bike owners to register their bikes with authorities, who will then have a record of the bicycle that would help them if it is stolen and recovered, Della Fave said.

“We’re taking it seriously,” he said.

Among those arrested this week are Miguel A. DeJesus, 43, of Union City, who cops say pulled out cable cutters to remove a bike from the rack at Journal Square; Edward L. Nettles, 36, of Jersey City, who cops say they observed attempting to cut a security cable attaching a bicycle to the rack; Javier Cartegena, 35, of Union City; and Darnell Ford, 44, of Jersey City, who cops say they saw attempting to remove a tire from a bicycle.

Della Fave noted the ages of the four men.

“These are not kids we’re talking about,” he said.

Della Fave added that, according to police reports, some of the men expressed shame when the cops nabbed them.

“Why did I do that?” Cartegena asked upon his arrest, according to Della Fave.

Brian Wagner, of Bike Hoboken, said bike riders can absolutely control whether or not their bicycles are stolen. Don’t assume a “simple cable lock” will dissuade thieves, Wagner told The Jersey Journal.

“These would-be thieves have cutting tools,” he said. “It’s very easy to cut some of these cable locks . . . some are so thin they’re like a wire on a lamp.”

Wagner, who has had two bikes stolen in recent years, has posted pictures of locked bikes on Bike Hoboken’s Facebook page, along with comments critiquing the owners’ locking techniques.

There are a variety of ways to keep your bike from being stolen, he said, but one of the best is using a combination of a cable lock and a U- or D-shaped lock, intertwined in a way that causes a thief to move along.

“Make him look at this bike and say . . . this will take me too long,” Wagner said.

http://www.nj.com/jjournal-news/index ... y_arrests_put_bike_t.html

Posted on: 2012/8/14 16:09
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