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Re: Asbestos in neighbor's demo?
#1
Home away from home
Home away from home


Thanks for those ideas. I'm very concerned about whether or not we've been exposed to dangerous material such as asbestos or lead from the dust. Apparently to get a demo permit from the building department all the contractor just has to do is put it in writing that there's no asbestos. But how does he know before he starts the demolition? Especially if he's a general contractor? Does anyone have any insight? How concerned should I be? The building department referred me to the Department of Environmental Protection.

Posted on: 8/1 10:56
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Asbestos in neighbor's demo?
#2
Home away from home
Home away from home


The building next to mine is undergoing a gut renovation and the contractor has been piling all the debris in the backyard. Dust from the demo is blowing into my yard. Before I realized what was going on (we have a high fence so I couldn't see into the yard from the ground) I spent some time in the yard with my young child and we had our windows open for a few weeks. Now I'm wondering if we've been exposed to asbestos or lead. I filed a complaint with the health department and they made the contractor remove the debris but he has since filled the yard with garbage again. I've also tried getting in touch with the building department to see if they verified that there was not asbestos prior to the demo since I'm assuming they had to obtain a permit to do this work. Can anyone offer me any assurances? It's a brick row house but was probably renovated and divided during the 1980s.

Posted on: 7/31 17:14
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JC Schools
#3
Home away from home
Home away from home


I'm looking for a good resource to research both public and private schools in JC (and NJ for that matter). I'm aware of a few sites that grade schools based on their test scores but those sites don't provide any information about the safety of a school or the learning environment.

I recently enrolled my child at Cordero for Pre-K but decided not to follow through after visiting the school and seeing its dilapidated condition, noting that middle schoolers are in the same facility as 3 year olds, and seeing a teacher berate a preschool aged child on the playground before huffing off to sit on a bench and look at her phone. I have read some positive accounts from parents who have sent their children to Cordero but I've also read accounts of bullying that went unaddressed. More than anything I want my child to be in a safe and nurturing environment.

Would love to hear about other experiences at Cordero or from parents who have opted not to send their children to JC public schools and any resources for private school enrollment.

Hoping not to get the usual JCList response that I should just move to the 'burbs. I've been in JC for 20 years.

Posted on: 7/12 14:51
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Re: Front fence Hamilton Park
#4
Home away from home
Home away from home


Replying to the OP... We've done extensive work on our building in the Harsimus Cove Historic District over the last 11 years and have always found the process fairly pain-free. I've gone to the Historic Preservation office in person with questions having found email communications a bit lacking (consistent with all areas of municipal government) but had no trouble obtaining permits where necessary and working within their guidelines. Hope that helps you decide what to do about your fence.

Posted on: 7/12 14:35
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Re: window replacement - historic district
#5
Home away from home
Home away from home


You didn't ask but here's the name of THE contractor for installation of windows in historic districts. He will file all the necessary permits, etc. and knows just what kind of windows you will need:

https://www.buildzoom.com/contractor/stephen-nuding

Posted on: 7/12 14:27
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Re: Mosquito control summer 2016
#6
Home away from home
Home away from home


Reviving this thread as it's not even July yet and my kid and I are already being eaten alive by mosquitoes. Please, neighbors, try to eliminate standing water around your house! Check gutters, downspouts, flowerpots, and anywhere water accumulates and eliminate it. I have yet to find any insect repellent, deterrent, or anything that stops them from biting me. Suggestions welcome.

Posted on: 6/21 11:37
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Re: Cordero Principal Strynar retiring!!!
#7
Home away from home
Home away from home


This seems like good news. This is the school we're zoned for but after taking a tour in the spring I'm really, really hesitant about sending my kid there. The lack of AC and decision last week to send kids home because of the heat with no notice to the parents (12:40 call for a 12:45 dismissal) says a lot about how this school operates. Will a new principal fix these kinds of issues or are these matters dictated by the board of ed? I'm honestly curious as I'm trying to wrap my head around how the school system works (or doesn't) in JC.

Posted on: 6/21 11:31
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Re: Controversy swirls around Jersey City synagogue
#8
Home away from home
Home away from home


These guys have been approaching people in the street and ringing bells in our neighborhood (DT) asking if they want to sell. The same guy even asked me twice within about 30 minutes. I too have seen what they've done in Rockland County and it's not good.

Also, zoning is important and carefully calculated for the benefit of the community. If you want a variance, apply for one before you start your business, house of worship, etc.

Posted on: 3/3 10:37
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Re: Jersey City school board election November 8, 2016
#9
Home away from home
Home away from home


My mistake. When I spoke to her I thought she said she graduated last year. So I figured she was 19. Thanks for the clarification.

Posted on: 2016/11/3 15:57
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Re: Jersey City school board election November 8, 2016
#10
Home away from home
Home away from home


I'm extremely interested in understanding these candidates' motivations and voting for the best people. Would love to hear other peoples' take as I'm still undecided. However, here are a few thoughts I have so far:

I met Luis Felipe Fernandez and have a few concerns about him and his team (Jersey City United): 1. Fernandez made a terrible first impression by choosing to speak exclusively to my husband during our conversation. Even though I was trying to ask him questions, he directed all his answers toward my husband and shook his hand twice but didn't shake mine. 2. He is a Christian pastor. How do we know he's not going to inject his religion into the school system. 3. Asma Abdalla, while she seems like a very bright and ambitious young lady, is still a teenager. Not sure what kind of experience or organizational abilities she brings to the table, besides a first-hand account of what it's like to go through the Jersey City school system.

Does anyone know why Tepper and associates are pouring money into this race?

I have been following Gina Verdibello on her facebook page and she seems very informed and engaged and geared up to make change. But I don't know anything about the rest of her slate, other than that they have the backing of Fulop (which goes a long way in my book).


Posted on: 2016/11/3 15:47
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Re: Lead in Water - Replacing Lead Water Service Line
#11
Home away from home
Home away from home


Thanks so much to everyone for all the really useful information! MDM, you are a font of knowledge (water pun!).

I'm curious why you guys opted to replace the lines rather than install a whole house filter (which is sort of what I'm leaning toward right now). On a related note, can anyone recommend a filtration system? ;)

Posted on: 2016/9/30 13:35
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Re: Lead in Water - Replacing Lead Water Service Line
#12
Home away from home
Home away from home


MDM, thanks for the input. You seem knowledgeable on this topic so I'd like to ask you for some clarification: You mentioned the water main but I'm talking about the water service line. Aren't those two different things? i.e.: the service line is what connects the home to the main? From what I read on Suez's website the service line is "shared" but not sure what that means in terms of who pays for the replacement.

Also, what do you mean "what side your building is on vs. what side the water main is on"?

And, are you saying that I need to find out what *type* of lead is in the water?

The lab that tested it said it constituted a risk and recommended using filtered water (which we always have) and checking the service line which is likely lead (based on their results). I sent them 3 samples - one after the water was in the pipes for 6 hours, one after flushing the pipes 45 seconds and one after flushing the pipes for 5 minutes. The second one was higher than the first which they said indicated a lead service line.

Posted on: 2016/9/22 16:35
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Lead in Water - Replacing Lead Water Service Line
#13
Home away from home
Home away from home


I had our (unfiltered) water tested for lead and the results indicated a "serious" amount of lead (15.9 ppb). It recommended we check our water service line which is the likely source. Suez's website says to have a qualified plumber inspect the line.

Does anyone have experience with this? Or can anyone recommend a plumber who knows about these issues?

For the record, we always use filtered water and my son has tested negative for lead but in light of the results I will be having him re-tested. And since we have a small child in the home I want to make sure there's no risk of drinking contaminated water.

Posted on: 2016/9/22 14:14
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High Levels of ‘Erin Brockovich’ Toxin in Many NJ Water Systems - Including JC
#14
Home away from home
Home away from home



Posted on: 2016/9/21 11:30
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Re: Jersey City Realtor
#15
Home away from home
Home away from home


I can tell you the name of a realtor I would not use: Doug Blum from Liberty Realty. He recently brokered a condo in our building. I am on the condo board and was asked by the potential buyer and her home inspector a factual question about the building. When I tried to answer it for him Doug literally screamed at me not to say anything. A few minutes later he confronted my husband who didn't know anything about the exchange and told him we weren't to talk to the buyer. I talked about the matter with other board members and a realtor friend and, in addition to being extremely rude, it seemed to us that Doug was asking us to lie to the seller who is perfectly entitled to all information available on the building. Extremely unprofessional, unethical and rude.

Posted on: 2016/8/30 10:46
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Re: Anyone successfully rid themselves of these pesky little ants?
#16
Home away from home
Home away from home


Sprinkling diatomaceous earth in cracks and outside the house works amazing and is safe.

I've also had great results making a "trap" of borax and sugar water (see link below). Just make sure it's NOT accessible by pets or children. I usually set up a trap overnight where I'm seeing the ants and tape a shoe box over it so my cats don't get into it. Then I take it away before my child gets up in the morning. Great results but it does take a few days of setting the trap to reduce the ant population.

http://thehappyhousewife.com/home-man ... s-with-three-ingredients/

Posted on: 2016/5/24 15:32
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Mosquito control summer 2016
#17
Home away from home
Home away from home


I'm wondering what the city, county and our neighbors are doing for mosquito control this spring and summer. I recently learned about mosquito dunks which apparently can help control mosquitoes if put in standing water early in the year (flower pot bottoms, etc.). From what I understand they're safe and non-chemical. I'm going to use them in my backyard which always becomes a mosquito haven by mid-summer. Anything else that has worked for people? Hoping anyone with a yard takes similar measures.

Posted on: 2016/5/20 12:19
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Re: Tired of loud motorcycles on Whiton/Communipaw
#18
Home away from home
Home away from home


Isn't there a motorcycle club near there? Not sure of the exact location but maybe here?

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

Posted on: 2016/4/18 12:11
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Re: Jersey City mayor-elect orders end to citywide reval
#19
Home away from home
Home away from home


Yes, upon doing further research (i.e.: talking to my dad who is the mayor of a small town in New York and who has overseen 2 property revals), from what I understand, they are not seeking to raise substantially more taxes but simply redistribute them fairly. The city will still be collecting the same gross amount of taxes more or less, but if they collect $2000 more per year from me, they will be collecting $2000 a year less from another property owner (to oversimplify). Therefore, I'm supposing that my tax bill isn't going to triple as I had assumed. Right now I'm paying $5000+ a year on a property worth about $600,000 but only assessed at $73,000. (Thanks GrovePath for the link!)

Please feel free to correct or confirm this train of thought. I am still quite nervous.

Posted on: 2016/4/15 16:51
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Re: Jersey City mayor-elect orders end to citywide reval
#20
Home away from home
Home away from home


Thanks Dan L and Brewster for the links but they appear to access the same database that doesn't work. Thanks T-Bird for sharing your experience. I know we're underassessed I just don't know by how much. But no matter how much our taxes go up, it will be too much for us. It will be sad to leave JC after almost 15 years of calling it home. I would definitely love to hear anyone's thoughts on when to sell... before, during or after?

Posted on: 2016/4/7 15:37
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Re: Jersey City mayor-elect orders end to citywide reval
#21
Home away from home
Home away from home


Well, if that happens, we're outta here. My hubby got laid off a while back and we can barely make it as is. I wonder if we should cash out before the real estate values go down. Presumably, there will increased supply of property for sale once the valuation kicks in?

Also, can anyone tell me where to check the assessed value of my property? This link doesn't appear to work:

http://www.njactb.org/

Posted on: 2016/4/7 13:10
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Re: Jersey City mayor-elect orders end to citywide reval
#22
Home away from home
Home away from home


So, does anyone have any thoughts on how the reval will impact property values and how drastic tax increases could be? Has anyone experienced this process in other municipalities?

Posted on: 2016/4/7 12:50
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Re: Getting tap water tested?
#23
Home away from home
Home away from home


I ordered a test kit from this place:

http://www.hbbf.org/test-kits-start

But I haven't had the chance to do it yet (because you have to do it after water sits in the pipes for 6 hours... I'm waiting to do it when other occupants of our condo building are at work).

Even though JC's third-party water tests came back clean (which is a relief), I still wanted to do my own test since, from what I understand, the problem is often the pipe that connects the municipal water to the house.

I will try to share the results once I get them back.

Posted on: 2016/4/6 11:47
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Looking for a local computer tech
#24
Home away from home
Home away from home


Can anyone recommend a tech to troubleshoot a few problems on my laptop. I don't want to take it to Best Buy/Geek Squad. It's running glacially slow and the Windows suite has stopped working but I think it wouldn't take someone who knows very long. I just can't do it myself.

Posted on: 2016/4/6 10:10
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Re: Historical Preservation Society
#25
Home away from home
Home away from home


+1 for Steve Nuding. He did a fantastic job on our street facing windows and handled all historic permits. Well worth the higher price tag. To save some bucks, we used a different contractor for the rear windows (to answer the OP's question). I have had to apply for a Certificate of No Effect for numerous jobs on my property and have always found the Office of Historic Preservation and its officers nothing but extremely helpful. I really appreciate their commitment to preserving the character of our historic neighborhood.

Posted on: 2016/4/6 10:00
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Re: Anyone ever have a busted sewer line in their JC house?
#26
Home away from home
Home away from home


I had the city's sewer main collapse and fill my cellar with sewer so I feel your pain. I've had numerous other plumbing/sewer issues since that time. As the owner of a property with sewer issues, I think it's vital to develop a relationship with a good plumber who you can call on in emergencies and who understand the idiosyncrasies of your house's plumbing. I can recommend two: Al Lloyd of Super Rooter and Byron Hutchinson whose name I got from JCList. Al is cheaper and perhaps a bit more willing to tackle big projects and he does have more experience but we found Byron to be very professional and diligent in his solutions.

This doesn't directly address your problem but a few bits of additional advice if I may: 1. Find out what your homeowners insurance says about sewage backups. 2. Once you have your lines fixed, it might be advisable to roto rooter them on a regular basis (we do ours twice a year). 3. Make sure the city is maintaining the street main properly. Since we're downtown we often find that the street main is backed up (which sometimes leads to sewage in our basement). It should always be "low and running." The MUA can check that for you if you suspect a problem.

Good luck!

Posted on: 2016/3/29 13:57
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Re: Garden shed
#27
Home away from home
Home away from home


This is all very helpful info. I guess my next stop needs to be the zoning department to see how my building is zoned and what constitutes a permanent structure.

Posted on: 2016/3/9 12:58
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Garden shed
#28
Home away from home
Home away from home


I hoping to put a garden shed in my back garden this summer but I'm not sure where to begin. I want to to be attractive but not too expensive. Can anyone recommend a builder or local supplier of such things? Just has to be big enough to fit a few bikes, lawnmower and some garden tools. Also, do I need a permit for this kind of thing?

Posted on: 2016/3/8 12:19
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Re: Candice Osbourne, Ward E Councilwoman elect starts a survey to track flooding
#29
Home away from home
Home away from home


Same here. I've been trying to set up a meeting with Candace's office for a while now to talk about these issues with no luck.

Posted on: 2016/2/5 16:57
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Re: Kids in 11 N.J. Cities Have Higher Lead Levels Than Flint
#30
Home away from home
Home away from home


Wondering what the timeline is on the independent water testing. Does anyone know? Is this the kind of thing that will take years to accomplish?

Posted on: 2016/2/5 16:51
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