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Jersey City municipal worker accused in drug trafficking, money laundering scheme
#61
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Jersey City municipal worker accused in drug trafficking, money laundering scheme

A worker with Jersey City's health department was led out of City Hall in handcuffs on Tuesday after he was indicted in New York as part of an alleged drug distribution and money laundering scheme operating in three states.

Jose Martinez, 40, was charged with conspiracy after an eight-month investigation by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, the DEA says in a press release issued today. The agency says it seized multiple kilograms of cocaine and marijuana and about $270,000 in cash.

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


Posted on: 4/6 0:01
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Re: N.J. city shuts down burlesque show, citing obscenity laws
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After burlesque flap, Jersey City to revise old obscenity law

Jersey City may revise its obscenity law in the wake of its push to halt a local burlesque show that the city's legal team said would violate the 36-year-old ordinance.

The city faced criticism for putting an end to the show, which was going to star burlesque performer Lillian Bustle. Even Mayor Steve Fulop appeared to take his own legal team to task, calling them "very prude" on Twitter.

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


Posted on: 4/3 16:32
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Opioid epidemic is subject of town hall in Jersey City
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Opioid epidemic is subject of town hall in Jersey City

A town hall forum to discuss the statewide opioid epidemic is coming to Hudson County later this month. 

The Partnership for a Drug-Free New Jersey and the Horizon Foundation for New Jersey are set to bring the "Knock Out Opioid Abuse" town hall series to Saint Peter's University in Jersey City on April 24.

Hudson County Prosecutor Esther Suarez is on the panel of speakers for the 11 a.m. event, which will be held in the Mac Mahon Student Center at 47 Glenwood Ave.

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


Posted on: 4/3 15:13
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Re: Stalker
#64
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Prosecutors want to detain alleged stalker of Jersey City mayor

JERSEY CITY — The 30-year-old woman accused of stalking Mayor Steve Fulop, who once honored her as a Jersey City "woman of action," will remain behind bars until at least Thursday.

Stephanie Espana, of Jersey City, was arrested Sunday night after authorities say she was found inside Fulop's Ogden Avenue home at about 7 p.m. Espana made her first court appearance Monday afternoon, with the assistant prosecutor handling the case saying she wants to have Espana evaluated by a mental health professional.

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


Posted on: 4/2 22:47
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Re: U.S. Sen. Menendez - new federal investigation
#65
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Now Menendez has a Democrat challenging him

WASHINGTON -- Before they can face each other in the general election, both U.S. Sen. Robert Menendez and former Celgene Corp. executive Bob Hugin first must overcome opposition from candidates in their own parties.

On the final day for candidates to declare their intention with the state Division of Elections to run in the June 5 primary, community newspaper publisher Lisa McCormick filled to run against Menendez, D-N.J., who is seeking a third six-year term. McCormick announced a campaign for the 2017 Democratic nomination for governor but did not run.

http://www.nj.com/politics/index.ssf/ ... re-election_campaign.html


Posted on: 4/2 22:42
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Politicians Want to Start a Bank. What Could Go Wrong?
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Politicians Want to Start a Bank. What Could Go Wrong?

New Jersey looks to follow North Dakota’s example, but without the same low-corruption culture.

Some Democrats in Trenton think they’ve found an answer to New Jersey’s problems: a new government-owned bank.

Gov. Phil Murphy, formerly of Goldman Sachs , campaigned last year on the idea of creating a bank owned by the state and its municipalities. “A public bank will allow New Jersey to invest in New Jersey,” Mr. Murphy said. He added that it would “provide capital to communities that, for too long, have been ignored by the financial system, whether they be women-owned businesses, businesses owned by people of color, or small businesses with big ideas.”

At the beginning of this year’s legislative session, two Democratic state senators introduced the State Bank of New Jersey Act to turn Mr. Murphy’s campaign proposals into reality. The new bank would be run by an appointed board, plus the state treasurer. It would be instructed to make its services available to all public entities, and it could enter into real-estate projects using the power of eminent domain. The bank would also be empowered to extend student loans and small-business loans.

For years progressive groups have advocated government-run banks, arguing that they would serve local users better than private banks do. A model often cited is the Bank of North Dakota, the only state-owned bank in the U.S., which was founded nearly a century ago as part of a populist farmers revolt. It has survived as an apparently functional part of the economic landscape in one of the nation’s most conservative states. Another oft-cited example is Germany’s Landesbanken, a group of state-owned regional banks known for midlevel commercial lending and for overseeing local savings banks (Sparkassen) run by municipalities.

As private banks see it, state-owned banks succeed, if they do, because of unfair advantages. They’re exempt from taxes, which may or may not be partly offset by an expectation that they return money to state or municipal treasuries. Public banks can also raise money at the lower interest rates charged to government borrowers, since they’re seen as unlikely to default (and likely to be bailed out if they do).

But you don’t hear as much favorable buzz about the German Landesbanken as you used to, given their recent performance. The Economist reported in 2015 that “this hybrid public-private model, which relied on public largesse in days past, has fared disastrously since the financial crisis.” The promise that politically controlled banks would choose investments on a sound business basis has proved false. “State politicians sit on the supervisory boards, enjoying playing the role of banker, supporting favored projects and soft loans to companies that employ lots of voters,” the magazine noted.

Alert readers might have noticed what Germany and North Dakota have in common: relatively clean, honest political cultures. Germany regularly ranks among the 10 or 20 least corrupt countries in the world (and ahead of the U.S.). Among American states, the measures vary. North Dakota has had more corruption convictions than one might expect, but it still scores well on most outcome-based measures. New Jersey, on the other hand, fares quite poorly.

A 2014 study by the Safra Ethics Center at Harvard ranked state corruption by surveying political reporters covering capital politics. North Dakota was in a small group of states where illegal corruption was perceived as “not at all common.” When it came to “legal” corruption—i.e., the kind that isn’t against the law but is still aromatic—the study found it was only “slightly common” in North Dakota.

On both metrics New Jersey was among the seven states perceived as most corrupt. The Soprano State has provided America with some of its gaudiest and most colorful political double-dealers, with mayors in Atlantic City, Camden, Irvington, Jersey City, Newark, Orange and Trenton all having been convicted over the past generation.

A State Bank of New Jersey would be unlikely to content itself with the predictable and repetitive lending that goes on in an agriculture-and-extraction economy like North Dakota’s. It would inevitably turn into a Favor Bank for politicos hoping to lure subsidized jobs from the more vibrant cities of New York and Philadelphia. Once the initial buzz of idealism passed, it would become a tempting honey pot for the corrupt politicians for which New Jersey is famous.

In that sense, a State Bank of New Jersey really would be sure to create jobs—for prosecutors.

Mr. Olson is a senior fellow at the Cato Institute.

https://www.wsj.com/articles/politicia ... could-go-wrong-1522443732


Posted on: 3/30 20:05
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Re: JC Public Schools is short $70 million
#67
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Initial $660M Jersey City school's budget calls for tax hike, layoffs

The nine-member school board gave preliminary approval to the school district's $660 million school budget for the 2018-19 school year.

The spending plan gets sent now to the county superintendent for approval. It is expected to be adopted in May.

Here's what residents need to know about how the budget would affect them and the 29,000-student school district.

$660,214,829: the total amount the school district intends to spend in 2018-19. That's 5 percent less than the district intends to spend this school year.

http://www.nj.com/jjournal-news/index ... 0m_jersey_city_schoo.html


Posted on: 3/30 10:09
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N.J. city shuts down burlesque show, citing obscenity laws
#68
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N.J. city shuts down burlesque show, citing obscenity laws

Turns out, in Jersey City a bump 'n' grind can get you fined.

City attorneys effectively shut down a burlesque show planned for Wednesday night after telling the owners of Newark Avenue bar FM that they might get hit with a penalty for violating local obscenity laws.

Lillian Bustle, who would have starred in the performance, said she's mystified. The burlesque queen has produced and starred in 19 burlesque shows at various Downtown Jersey City venues since 2012.

Bustle said she and her fellow performers generally strip down to pasties and G-strings. If there is the occasional flash of a bit more, she said, what's the difference?

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


Posted on: 3/29 14:58
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Re: Disbarred lawyer stole $1.5M from clients, AG says
#69
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26 years in prison for Toms River attorney convicted of stealing $1.5 million from clients

, @AndrewFordNews Published 2:11 p.m. ET March 29, 2018

A Toms River attorney was sentenced to spend more than two decades behind bars after he was found guilty of crimes related to stealing $1.5 million from five clients.

Joseph J. Talafous Jr., 55, was sentenced to 26 years in state prison Thursday after he was convicted at trial in January of 17 crimes, according to a statement from the state attorney general's office. 

“Lawyers have a duty to uphold the law and defend the interests of their clients,” Attorney General Gurbir Grewal said in the statement.  “This prison sentence sends a strong message of deterrence that lawyers like Talafous who violate their duty and steal from their clients will be aggressively prosecuted.”

Between October 2004 and May 2015, the statement said Talafous, who practiced in Jersey City, stole from five clients, including:

https://www.app.com/story/news/crime/j ... -clients-child/470116002/


Posted on: 3/29 14:25
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Re: Netflix series Seven Seconds (takes place in JC!)
#70
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Seven Seconds: Netflix Takes A Grim, Timely Look At Race And Power In America


Posted on: 3/24 10:48
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Re: Tab for public workers' unused sick days tops $2 billion
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Putting an end to the unused sick pay scam | Editorial

Great news: Your local police chief and school superintendent haven't been sick in 20 years. That's something that should make you knock wood and toast their good health, maybe even join in the chorus of attaboys at their retirement ceremonies. Instead, it's costing you obscene gobs of money.

Many municipal employees have banked unused sick pay for decades, which is one of the more infuriating reasons why New Jersey's property taxes are stratospheric, as this practice has dropped a $1.9 billion property tax liability on the state, according to research from N.J. Spotlight.

This gravy train must end, so the state Senate is moving a bill that caps accumulated unused sick pay for all public employees at $15,000, the same limit that was applied to state workers who were hired after 2010. 

Currently, there is no cap on county and local workers, which is why people like Jersey City police chief Phil Zacche walked away with an extra $512,000, the result of banking 450 unused sick and vacation days. That's more than enough to cover the $250,000 fine he received after pleading guilty to fraud and embezzlement in January, but we digress.

http://www.nj.com/opinion/index.ssf/2 ... k_pay_scam_editorial.html


Posted on: 3/24 10:43
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Re: Political war brewing over county exec seat
#72
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Hudson political war message: I never liked you | Political Insider


Posted on: 3/24 10:40
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Re: JC golf course seeks to expand into Liberty State Park
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Caven Point proposal just a land swap; Land a learning place for kids | Feedback

Liberty National has land for 1st Tee

In a recent letter to nj.com, First Tee director Ed Brockner publically referred to the proposal submitted by Liberty National Golf Course to lease the Caven Point natural area at LSP as a "proposed land swap." That's a very interesting choice of words that warrants exploration.

In November, Christie's DEP administrators issued a Request For Proposals (RFP) to lease Caven Point. This RFP can be viewed if you Google "Caven Point RFP." The RFP contains the conditions and requirements that a proposal to lease Caven Point would need to fulfill.

http://www.nj.com/opinion/index.ssf/2 ... nd_swap_land_a_learn.html


Posted on: 3/24 10:35
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Jersey City to offer paid parental leave for municipal workers
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Jersey City to offer paid parental leave for municipal workers

JERSEY CITY — Jersey City municipal workers will be eligible for paid parental leave, thanks to an executive order signed by Mayor Steve Fulop.

To qualify, the employee must have one year of service as a full-time city worker and be approved for leave under federal or state laws. The order requires the city to supplement medical leave payments to bring the employee up to full weekly wages.

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


Posted on: 3/23 12:14
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Re: The Disaster that is Jersey City Recreation
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How many directors does it take to run a rec department? | Morgan's Corner

State Civil Service rules and regulations are explicit about certain things.

For instance, a municipal department cannot have two serving directors earning the same pay and in the same title. However, until just the last few weeks, that's what was happening in Jersey City's Department of Recreation, where its former director, Kevin Williamson, and new department head, Arthur Williams, were both listed on the payroll as director, both earning $118,000 annually.

When questioned were raised about this possible infraction of Civil Service rules, there was some scrambling around City Hall and Williamson's title was changed to "management aide" but he retained his $118,000 annual salary.

Asked about the situation, Jersey City mayoral spokeswoman Hannah Peterson said Williams, the new director, is getting a salary increase to $121,000 a year. That still left Williamson, the former director, being paid -- albeit in a lesser title -- the same salary he earned as director.

http://www.nj.com/opinion/index.ssf/2 ... e_to_run_a_rec_depar.html


Posted on: 3/22 18:18
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Re: I-Team: FBI Investigates Alleged Corruption in Jersey City Police Department
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Third ex-cop avoids jail time for Jersey City off-duty scheme

A former Jersey City cop will not go to prison for his role in a scam that netted him more than $12,000 in corrupt payments.

David Ortmann, 53, was sentenced in a federal courthouse in Newark yesterday to three years' probation -- six months of that in home confinement -- and was ordered to pay $17,620 in restitution to Jersey City and to forfeit $12,617.

Ortmann pleaded guilty in September to one count of conspiracy to commit fraud.

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


Posted on: 3/21 10:13
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Re: New York Times: Is New York’s Best Pizza in New Jersey?
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Does this man make the best pizza in New Jersey?

, Food Editor, @EstherDavido

Soon after Dan Richer graduated Rutgers University, he took a two-week trip to Italy — and came back home deeply puzzled as to why the food abroad "tasted so good, like nothing I ever tasted in New Jersey." 

Determined to figure it out, Richer consulted countless cookbooks, watched cooking shows incessantly and, most importantly, experimented in his family's Matawan kitchen, cooking dishes over and over again.

Fast forward 15 years, and today Richer, 37, chef and owner of Razza pizzeria in Jersey City, turns out pizza that tastes so good that a recent, glowing, 3-star New York Times review declared it "the best pizza in New York." The pronouncement no doubt astonished the innumerable pizzerias that are truly located in New York. 

Perhaps even more astonishing is that Richer, a two-time James Beard Award nominee, produces extraordinarily delicious pies by breaking every time-honored rule the cognoscenti say turns out magnificent pizza.

https://www.northjersey.com/story/ente ... zza-new-jersey/386265002/


Posted on: 3/21 10:03
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Re: New PAD Trump building 25% financed with funds from investor visa holders
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Kushner’s New Jersey Trump Tower Got $200 Million Loan From Citigroup

March 21, 2018, 8:46 AM EDT

Trump Bay Street, a New Jersey luxury apartment tower part-owned by Kushner Cos., received a $200 million loan from Citigroup, according to two people familiar with the deal.

It’s a coup for Kushner Cos. and their partner KABR Group, which need the funds to repay a construction loan that came due in September, as well as individual Chinese investors who put $50 million in the building through a visa-for-investment program. The companies had trouble finding lenders last year after Jared Kushner’s sister traveled to China, Bloomberg reported at the time.

Kushner Cos. is owned by the family of Jared Kushner, son-in-law and senior adviser to President Donald Trump. The company and its partners have come under scrutiny as they do deals while Kushner undertakes U.S. policy.

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/article ... llion-loan-from-citigroup


Posted on: 3/21 9:59
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Re: Jersey City Council to introduce $587 million budget with zero tax increase
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$588M 2018 budget proposed for Jersey City

JERSEY CITY — The City Council last week introduced a $588 million municipal budget for 2018, a plan that comes as residents hit by results of the property revaluation are clamoring for major spending cuts.

The budget total is largely unchanged from the one adopted in 2017, and that may not be enough for residents facing reval-related tax increases later this year. At a meeting about the reval at Casa Colombo in February, one resident demanded the city reconsider how it spends "every penny."

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


Posted on: 3/19 17:33
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Re: Helicopters over the Hudson
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Two N.J. congressmen call for ban on tourist helicopter flights following fatal crash

JERSEY CITY -- Two New Jersey congressmen are calling for a ban on tourist helicopter flights over the New Jersey and New York region in the wake of a deadly crash that left five passengers dead.

In a letter to the U.S. Department of Transportation, Rep. Albio Sires and Rep. Donald M. Payne Jr. called on the agency's acting administrator to ban tourist helicopter flights in the New York metropolitan region.

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


Posted on: 3/17 17:29
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Jersey City Council to introduce $587 million budget with zero tax increase
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Jersey City Council to introduce $587 million budget with zero tax increase

By John Heinis/Hudson County View

“Jersey City is one of the few municipalities that has seen stable taxes every single year while increasing and enhancing city services the way that we have,” Mayor Steven Fulop said in a statement.

“Our City serves as proof that cities can be both fiscally responsible and socially progressive. This balance has been one of our major priorities, and as we start a second term, I promise to continue to move our City forward while focusing on long-term budgeting and management.”

https://hudsoncountyview.com/jersey-ci ... t-with-zero-tax-increase/


Posted on: 3/16 17:57
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Re: School #7 Teacher Arrested for Molesting Students in Classroom
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New Charges for Teacher Accused of Touching Several Students

JERSEY CITY, N.J. (AP) — Authorities say a New Jersey teacher accused of inappropriately touching several students is now facing more charges.

Hudson County prosecutors said Friday that Sean Lora faces charges of sexual contact and child endangerment after another alleged victim came forward following Lora's arrest earlier this month. The new counts come the same day the 42-year-old Bayonne man is due to appear at a detention hearing.

March 16, 2018, at 1:18 p.m.

https://www.usnews.com/news/best-state ... touching-several-students


Posted on: 3/16 13:37
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Re: Jersey City puts end to police officers working off-duty jobs
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Ex-Jersey City cop sentenced for off-duty jobs scheme

A former Jersey City police officer was sentenced today to 18 months in prison for his role in an off-duty jobs scheme that included paying bribes to get off-duty work he did not perform, federal authorities announced. 

Michael O'Leary, 35, of Jersey City, previously pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge John Michael Vazquez to one count of conspiracy to commit bribery and was facing up to five years in prison. 

Vazquez imposed the 18-month sentence today in Newark federal court.

http://www.nj.com/hudson/index.ssf/20 ... or_off-duty_jobs_sch.html


Posted on: 3/16 13:18
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Re: Teacher Protests Disturbing Neighborhood
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Fulop defends hands-off approach on teacher strike

JERSEY CITY — Mayor Steve Fulop said he's largely staying out of the contract dispute that has led to today's Jersey City teacher strike, despite pleas by the teachers union to help broker a deal.

Fulop, speaking at a City Hall press conference, said he's both sympathetic to teachers, who are seeking lower health care costs, and the school district, which says it is facing a $65 million deficit in the 2018-19 school year.

The mayor, whose rise to political power coincided with his efforts to elect education reformers to the nine-member school board, today defended his hands-off approach with the teachers’ contract.

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


Posted on: 3/16 13:14
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Re: Woman Found Dead in Jersey City - Country Village
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Former Jersey City police dispatcher guilty of murdering wife

Family members of Monica Montone gasped with relief when her husband, a former Jersey City police dispatcher, was convicted yesterday of strangling his wife inside their County Village home in 2014.

"I lost my breath for a second when he said guilty," said Jose Garcia, the brother of Monica Montone, 34, whose husband, Kevin Montone, 37, was convicted of killing her.

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


Posted on: 3/16 6:22
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Re: Critics target Jersey City over outside law firm
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Jersey City council votes down law contract sought by Fulop

The City Council Wednesday night defeated a measure reauthorizing a contract with a law firm the city says handles "special or complex" public-records requests.

The action was the first time in recent memory the council has voted down a contract sought by Mayor Steve Fulop, who has six allies on the nine-member council. The defeated measure would have approved another $20,000 for a previously authorized contract with West Orange law firm Arleo & Donohue.

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


Posted on: 3/16 6:20
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Re: Jersey City, Port Authority settle dispute over taxes
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Jersey City ends $400M suit against Port Authority, gets $17.75M in land deal

By John Heinis/Hudson County View

“Today’s announcement of our agreement with the Port Authority is the major step in reshaping our relationship with an entity that is a major force in Jersey City,” Mayor Steven Fulop said in a statement.

“This resolution is a positive one for our residents, bringing over $35 million to Jersey City as well as a renewed commitment to several important projects.”

The mayor’s office released the details of what the settlement will entail, including a $17,750,000 payment from the Port Authority to the city for the ownership of the triangle parcel on Washington Street, which will be the site of new PATH transformers.

https://hudsoncountyview.com/jersey-ci ... gets-17-75m-in-land-deal/


Posted on: 3/15 10:37
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Re: Teacher Protests Disturbing Neighborhood
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As Jersey City teachers' strike threat looms, deal to end dispute in works

The Jersey City school board may vote on a deal today intended to end an eight-month contract dispute with the public school district's teachers and avoid the first Jersey City teachers' strike in 20 years.

A contract offer by the district is "under the final stages of synthesis," and the board will discuss and vote on it at its meeting today, according to Board of Education President Sudhan Thomas. The teachers have worked under an expired contract since Sept. 1.

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


Posted on: 3/15 10:32
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Re: Tab for public workers' unused sick days tops $2 billion
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Putting an End to Sick-Pay Accrual by Longtime Public Workers


Posted on: 3/14 7:16
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Deputy Attorney General Baker to replace Farrell as Jersey City corporation counsel
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Deputy Attorney General Baker to replace Farrell as Jersey City corporation counsel


Posted on: 3/13 13:12
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