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Re: Board of Education elections
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Thanks to you both for your thoughtful, reasonable endorsements of our campaign and/or my candidacy. That's not to paper over the several disagreements I have within Mr. Parkhurst's recounting but those can wait until after the election. For now please accept my genuine appreciation.

Posted on: 2017/11/5 19:57

Re: Board of Education elections
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I can definitely sympathize with the inability to find good info on us BOE candidates. There's a lot more going on electorally this year than there usually is.

The JCBOE is a nine-member board. Currently 8 of those 9 were elected by the JCEA, the teachers' union. 7 of those 9 vote as a block as they did in September when they voted down the standard nepotism policy expected of every NJ school board, for example.

This year there is an opportunity to shift the board back to one represented by community members and residents and not unions.

I am the only parent of public school students running in the race and have substantive board experience as former prez of the HPNA and DCNA and member of the boards for Liberty Humane, Temple BethEl, and many other orgs. I've lived in JC for 20yrs, currently in Hamilton Park, and work as a consultant with private and institutional clients in NJ and NYC.

David Miranda grew up in JC and graduated from County Prep, NJCU and is earning his Masters in International Relations and Diplomacy at Seton Hall. He is a professional audit and risk manager in NYC.

In my opinion, David has exactly the background we need for the fiscal challenges in store for the school district. That and his wry wit are why we are running together.

I also think independent candidate, Yousef Saleh, is worthy of your vote. He is an attorney who grew up in Jersey City and has been president of the student body at McNair, Rutgers U, and Rutgers Law School. His intelligence and energy will serve the board very well.

The JCEA is running a negative campaign against the three of us and we could use all the support we can muster. It's not easy running against the most well-funded special interest group in the state of NJ. And when they run our school district, there are real negative consequences for our students and classrooms.

Mussab Ali was an independent candidate last year and spoke vocally about JCEA corruption but all that has changed now that he has their endorsement this time around. He has eschewed his independence for political expedience. That's another reason I support David Miranda for the one-year seat over Mr. Ali and recommend all do the same.

This is but one biased opinion on the state of the race but will try to check in and answer questions here if anybody has them. Otherwise check out #JerseyCityUnited2017 on FB and Insta.


Posted on: 2017/11/3 20:51

Re: Gerry McCann!! Criminal Mastermind!!
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More please

Posted on: 2017/9/21 17:13

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$5 discount if you buy your tickets online now

Posted on: 2017/5/2 3:08

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temple beth-el presents
The Ocho

Saturday May 13 8pm
The Lounge @ Beth-El
2419 John F Kennedy Blvd

Comedy that won't make you cringe plus adult beverages and Rivo.

Posted on: 2017/5/2 3:04

Re: Vogue Cafe - new French cafe on York & Marin
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Went there with a friend yesterday. Highly recommended!

Posted on: 2016/11/22 15:52

Jersey City United for Board of Education on Nov 8th!
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Friends and Neighbors,

This Tuesday, we?ll have the privilege to elect three new members of Jersey City Board of Education.

In years past, I worked with Parents for Progress to elect new membership to the Board and bring in a new, highly-effective Superintendent of Schools after decades of stagnancy in our public schools. While we?ve always had pockets of excellence, too many students ? particularly in the south side of the city ? were not expected to learn to the fullest extent of their capabilities.

Under Superintendent Lyles over the last four years, there have been gains throughout the district that many previously thought impossible.

This year, community groups from around the city came together to form a new organization, Jersey City United. I am proud to join this organization and run for the Board of Education together with two outstanding candidates, Luis Felipe Fernandez, and Asmaa Abdalla.

We have a comprehensive platform to guide us after our election Tuesday which along with our biographies can be found at

Friends, please come out in support of Jersey City United and vote for Luis Felipe Fernandez (5J), Asmaa Abdalla (8J) and me, Matthew Schapiro (10J) this Tuesday.

For more information or to get directly involved, check these links:

We?ve come too far to go back. Please join with us on Tuesday, November 8th and vote for three Board of Education who will always put our students, families, and communities first.

Posted on: 2016/11/3 20:22

Re: Closest non-car method to get to the beach?
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I would pay to see a live performance of QUERTY's posts.

On topic, the NJ Transit line is slow but will get you within striking distance of the beach, especially in Bayhead.

Pro tip:
For driving to the beach on summer weekends, use the Wonder Bagel Line Principle (personally researched). The longer the line is out the door of Wonder Bagel on a Saturday morning, the worse traffic will be on the Garden State Parkway. Never fails.

Posted on: 2016/6/24 3:17

Re: Will Jersey City and Hoboken ever lose Abbott District Status?
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by Monroe on 2016/6/21 20:22:31
...and seeing Newark and JC get $1.5 billion dollar/year with abysmal graduation rates (while spending way over the state average as well per student).

As a caveat, I am much more familiar with JC than Newark but it is foolish to equate the two school systems.

The Jersey City Public Schools have the benefit of an outstanding Superintendent and a flourishing population, both of which has dramatically improved student outcomes in our public schools.

Newark has a waning population and a fleet of half-empty public schools. Their trajectory is nowhere near as optimistic as ours.

Do the JC district schools still need improvement? Of course they do. But we are on the right track and don't let anybody paint all urban schools with the same broad, nasty brush.

Parents across the city of all backgrounds are seeing their children succeed here.

Posted on: 2016/6/22 0:38

Re: John Hallanan -Mayor Fulop's Pick for Ward B Councilman Replacement
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Totally agree

Posted on: 2016/5/25 18:51

Re: The Village has Gone Crazy - R5 zoning but not in my backyard
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by Suntime on 2016/5/18 11:56:07

Dr nick - the vna is a volunteer community group - not a governmental agency with a requirement to provide minutes. These are people from the community getting together, making time out of their own busy lives, to discuss issues in the village community and to be neighborly. Meetings are held at 730pm so that people can get there after work. While it may not be convenient to your particular work schedule, it is the best possible time for most. meetings are announced and all are welcome. If you cant make it to meetings due to your work schedule, find a friend in the community that can and get the scoop from them. Or, go about making your voice heard in other ways by your own advocacy. Either you get involved in your community or you don't. As you know, nobody owes you anything if you arent willing to participate in a meaningful way. It takes time and effort, often unappreciated, to get involved. Its not easy when we all have busy lives with jobs and families. Its not easy for anyone - you are not alone in these time constraints.

I'm not taking a stand on this issue but I think the above statement is wrong with regard to a neighborhood association's responsibility to its neighborhood. Namely, if a NA is purporting to represent a neighborhood, it is in the direct interest of the NA to be as open as possible to residents, whether or not they actively participate with the association.

NAs are not the actual "deciders" when it comes to any individual project or general change in city law or policy. The actual deciders, such as planning board members or council representatives, might take into consideration the position of a NA when making decisions. The amount of weight to give to the position of a NA varies depending on their legitimate representation of the wishes of their entire neighborhood, not just those who attend meetings and actively participate.

This is the prime reason some NAs have lapsed into irrelevance: failure to honestly represent the interests of an entire neighborhood in favor of the ideologically-driven agenda of a few.

Again, not taking a stand on this issue or the VNA, which has been led by deliberate, thoughtful folks in all of my dealings with them. Just pointing out that demeaning the opinions of less-active or inactive residents can easily lead to a less-representative association and hence, a lessening of the association's influence with the actual "deciders" in our city.

Posted on: 2016/5/18 16:29

Re: Cordero
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By ratings, I assume you mean the state performance report which can be found here:

Or are you going by Zillow? ... -elementary-school-91761/

The data from the first link is pretty comprehensive and largely reflects socioeconomic trends among students. Zillow is an oversimplified and out-of-date version of the state report. You should also realize there is a relatively high percentage of special needs students which is a factor unaccounted for in "ratings".

Our experience there is very, very positive. We have had outstanding teachers and our child is getting an excellent education there. Most others we know have had similar experiences.

If you are considering Cordero for your child(ren) and have questions or concerns, make an appointment for a tour of the school and see for yourself - (201)714-4390

Posted on: 2016/5/12 16:31

Re: Yvonne Outdoes Herself - Transgender Bathroom Editorial
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We're considering a separate bathroom for Yvonne at...

starring Judy Gold
hosted by Phil Rivo

Temple Beth El
2419 Kennedy Blvd
Saturday May 7

But don't worry. She won't be there.

Posted on: 2016/4/28 4:31

Re: Plan to lower parking minimums in Jersey City spurs anger
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So what happened with this last night? Did they get the variance?

Posted on: 2016/2/24 14:57

Re: 17 floor tower 8th n Marin behind Unico Tower
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by bustjc on 2015/12/21 12:06:51

They applied for variances, got tax breaks and abatements for temporary affordable housing. The time to complain and block it is passed.

Also OP should check his information. The building is not seventeen stories; I recall it being twelve or thirteen.

And if his issue is with trees being cut down, the developers are building a park onsite which will be open to the public. That land has been fenced off and unusable since I moved to the neighborhood 18yrs ago. Now anybody will be able to enjoy it.

Posted on: 2015/12/21 20:07

Bayonne Animal Control goes feral, breaks contract with Liberty Humane
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Liberty Humane Society
235 Jersey City Boulevard
Jersey City, New Jersey 07305

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: November 12th, 2015

At the Bayonne City Council meeting on Tuesday November 10th, the Council unanimously voted on a mid-term termination of its animal control and sheltering contract with Liberty Humane Society (LHS) than runs through April of 2016, and approved a contract with New Jersey Animal Control and Rescue, a controversial for-profit firm based in Lodi, New Jersey as of December 1st. We were not aware that the City had issued a new Request for Proposals (RFP), or that they were seeking to terminate our agreement until hours before the council meeting.

Over the last year, LHS has faced increasing pressure from the City of Bayonne to remove healthy wildlife from municipal and private property and euthanize or relocate them elsewhere. This is against our animal control policies, and against best practices. LHS follows the State of New Jersey?s animal control best practices, which allows for the removal of injured, sick, or dangerous wildlife for rehabilitation or euthanasia. Healthy wildlife is protected under state law, and it is illegal and inhumane to relocate certain types of wildlife (known as rabies vector species) outside of city limits.

The Bayonne Municipal Council does not agree with LHS?s wildlife policy and has chosen to contract with a company who will take a different, as yet undocumented approach.

This company will also be responsible for responding to calls for assistance with stray or injured domestic animals, securing emergency medical care, and housing these animals in accordance with state law. The facility where these animals will be taken and the conditions in which they will be kept have not been made public. This is where the residents of Bayonne will need to travel to in order to search for their lost pets.

LHS is disappointed by the City of Bayonne?s decision to suddenly terminate animal control and sheltering services with our facility and to engage a provider about whom little is known. We urge the public to ask for more details so as to ensure the safety of their community animals.

We have appreciated the opportunity to make progressive animal control and sheltering services available to residents, if only for a short time.

State of New Jersey Animal Control Best Practices: ... s/esm_animal_control1.pdf

State of New Jersey Wildlife Relocation Policy:

Media Contact: Irene Borngraeber, Executive Director

Posted on: 2015/11/12 17:01

Re: Jersey City School superintendent wants to stay
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Go to some meetings? I've attended every monthly Board of Ed meeting this year. There has not been one instance where someone has said, "There are no books or supplies in Mr. or Ms. _______'s class at PS__." It's never happened.

Does that mean the public schools are perfect and always have been? Of course not. But under this administration, there is far more accountability over all areas of instruction, operations and facilities than there ever has been. This has been recognized and confirmed by the NJ Dept of Education, Mayor Fulop and many others.

It is telling that those opposed to district leadership rely on rumor and innuendo to score cheap points rather than taking the time to engage and address the real challenges facing our district.

Posted on: 2015/11/10 17:06

Re: Jersey City School superintendent wants to stay
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I am disappointed to see millions in contracts given out while students are short on supplies. Students should have band practice and sports restored. I want a new person at the helm.

This 'lack of supplies' canard is trotted out every time somebody with no fact-based criticism wants to lob grenades at the administration.

Every time this mistruth is repeated, the administration and school board's response is the same: "Tell us what school or what classroom is undersupplied and we will address it immediately."

Surprise, surprise - none of these critics can name a single school or classroom. It is made up.

When you choose to lob mythical grenades at the administration, you can affect public opinion of the whole school district including teachers, students, and all other stakeholders. This is fair if you are speaking the truth. This is ugly and unfair if you are making it up or mindlessly repeating what you heard from somebody at a political debate or anywhere else.

You want to criticize the school district, fine. There are plenty of improvements still to be made and real problems to address. But let's base this criticism in reality.

Posted on: 2015/11/10 14:20

Re: Jersey City writer hates new Shepard Fairey mural
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Art has been created in our city and everybody can have a discussion about what they like and don't like about it. Danto would be pleased.

The mural reminds me of a local legend: The Beast of New York Harbor. Very, very rarely, when large storms are positioned at just the perfect angle offshore (way offshore), a giant swell is rumored to break in New York Harbor beside the Statue of Liberty. The wave crests at 15ft+ and then peters out well before affecting land.

Surfers have been salivating over the idea for years, especially since the New York Times ran a piece on it about fifteen years ago. According to surflore, the wave has only been seen a handful of times and never ridden.

While looking at the mural, I love thinking about that mythical wave and what riding it would feel like. And I strongly support this mural project for providing visual diversion in our city and encouraging discussions such as this.

Posted on: 2015/10/28 18:06

Re: Letter: Hamilton Park music events too loud for nearby residents
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Letter: Get Off Of My Lawn!

Posted on: 2015/9/29 19:36

Re: No more panhandlers in Journal Sq. PATH station?
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by JCGuys on 2015/9/16 12:29:39

Has anyone seen PATH Train Teddy lately?!?!?

Yes, saw him at the council meeting three weeks ago.

Posted on: 2015/9/16 16:35

Re: New Private School DTJC $16,500 tuition
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JCMan8 wrote:
It's funny because the only people who say this are those who don't have school aged kids of their own (and thus, have no real skin in the game), or they can't afford a better school. I'd bet a lot of money you fall into one of these categories.

Once it comes time to put their money where their mouth is, "progressives" who preach about this type of inequality and unfairness are the first ones to ensure their kids do not have to go to schools filled with "poor, emigrant, and families of color." Thus, contributing to the problem. You can see examples discussed throughout this very thread.

Massive hypocrisy much?

This is painting everybody with the same large, ugly brush. Not helpful.

My son goes to our neighborhood public school and we've seen enormous educational growth since he's been there. He also enjoys going every day and is excited to go back next week for 1st grade.

We are certainly the "progressives" referred to, who speak and act on inequality whenever possible.

Nothing wrong with choosing to send your child to a private school but it is wrong for others to assume that district schools are all bad simply because private schools exist in the area. Private schools exist in Montclair, in Millburn, in Livingston, all over affluent, "high-performing" districts in NJ.

It is easy to dump on JC district schools to advance one's own agenda. It is also important to note that our schools are improving dramatically every year under the new superintendent and will continue to do so, regardless of other options available for parents.

Posted on: 2015/9/3 18:53

Re: Driving down Jersey in Hamilton Park
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Things got noticeably safer on Jersey Ave and its surrounds after the traffic-calming measures instituted by Councilwoman Osborne. There is and always will be room for improvement, but credit where it's due -- the increase in stop signs and 'stop for pedestrian' signs have made a huge difference.

Posted on: 2015/7/14 18:14

Democratic leaders propose modernizing NJ voting laws with ‘Democracy Act’
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From PolitickerNJ: ... -laws-with-democracy-act/

Important voting rights story.

Posted on: 2015/6/16 2:13

Re: Has anyone else experienced Indian upstairs neighbors with heavy feet?
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I too believe it's okay to laugh at the buffoonish prejudice on display here. Best response is further satire as in this textbook demonstration:

NewportNJ write:
I suggest you check the topography of India, if the whole country sits 50 feet lower than the rest of the world, then maybe you are onto something. Quick, do your investigation & study the effects, your Nobel Prize is waiting!

Posted on: 2015/6/16 2:05

Re: Buying "Hold" Properties in JC Ghetto
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Am I the only one who finds this thread offensive?

Posted on: 2015/5/13 20:18

Re: Fifty Shades of Borscht this saturday
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yeah BUMP

Posted on: 2015/4/30 14:32

Fifty Shades of Borscht this saturday
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I don't know what you're doing with yourself this Saturday night at 8PM but I'll be at All Points Borscht presents Fifty Shades of Borscht at Temple BethEl, Jersey City.

You know, the annual extravaganza which has charmed and delighted thousands of people and kept the lights on at a venerable Jersey City house of worship.

It's really very exciting.

Many are already familiar with the comedic elegance of All Points Borscht presents Fifty Shades of Borscht Master of Ceremonies Phil Rivo. He will be joined this year by adult beverages, a jocular slate of entertainers, some surprisingly tasty baked goods and probably the coolest crowd in town.

In fact, All Points Borscht presents Fifty Shades of Borscht Master of Ceremonies Phil Rivo guarantees that this will not only be the funniest night of the year, it will also be the sexiest night of the year.

Wait, what?
No really, he's been in the gym a lot lately.

All Points Borscht presents Fifty Shades of Borscht
This Saturday May 2 at 8pm
The Lounge at Temple BethEl
2419 John F. Kennedy Blvd 'tween Bentley and Harrison (one word: Uber)
$25 online, $30 at the door
click for tickets

Posted on: 2015/4/29 3:02

Re: Australians investors buying up Jersey City housing
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by getz011 on 2015/4/15 0:00:12

I stand by my comments. I believe that Dixon should be held to a consistently high level of responsibility and accountability wherever it invests, not just within a couple of blocks of the PATH. I would expect the same of Americans investing in Australia.

I sympathize with the inclination toward higher or lower expectations for a property owner depending on the perception of their wealth. But ownership standards are not determined by the bankroll of the owner.

Standards are the same for homeowners regardless of their economic status and it should be that way. Otherwise they would be impossible to enforce.

If neighbors accepted the conditions of a property prior to the acquisition by new owners, it seems a bit capricious to attack the new ownership for the same previously accepted conditions. Had they created the conditions about which there are now complaints, that would be a different story. But that's not what is being said here.

There is a place for how we as neighbors act based on who owns a property. For example, if a large corporation was not shoveling its sidewalks, I might be inclined to report them. If the senior citizen next door was not shoveling her sidewalks, I would just shovel it for her.

At the same time, if any homeowner is causing a nuisance or is in violation of the law or housing codes, neighbors should feel free to address the owner directly and if unsatisfied, report them to the appropriate authorities.

Posted on: 2015/4/15 10:35

Re: Parents For Excellence - Carol Harrison-Arnold, Monica Kress & Bertram Okpokwasili
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VOTE 2H + 6H = 8H

From Ward E Councilwoman Candice Osborne:

I'll get straight to the point: your vote counts tomorrow.

I'm not saying this to give you warm fuzzies about a participatory democracy, I am saying it because it is true. The Board of Education Election is the tightest race on the ballot. Your decision tomorrow could be the deciding factor in this election, which in a previous race was won by just one vote.

Successful schools matter. They matter to every single child who lives in Jersey City. They matter to the teachers who work so hard to provide children with the education and opportunity that they deserve. They matter to the families who want to raise their children here and watch them flourish.

The Ask
Ask 10 of your Jersey City friends to vote tomorrow in the Board of Education election (it is as easy as forwarding this email)

Leave your house for work 15 minutes early tomorrow and vote

Not sure who to support?
Voters can choose 3 people out of the 8 who are running. I am endorsing the Parents for Excellence slate: BERTRAM C. OKPOKWASILI (2H), CAROL HARRISON - ARNOLD (6H) & MONICA KRESS (8H). I think if you read up on them, you will agree that they are the right team to continue the turnaround of the Jersey City School System.

In summary
The to-do list is easy and the polls are open from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m - so no excuses and everyone should vote tomorrow. I hope you will join me in voting 2H, 6H, 8H.

P.S. Don't forget to remind at least 10 people to vote tomorrow

VOTE 2H + 6H = 8H

Posted on: 2014/11/4 13:39

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