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Think you know JC? Got an iPhone? This app is for you.
#1
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Crowdbeacon is a new app available free from the iPhone App Store that allows users to ask questions about virtually anything specific to a certain area and then receive answers in real time as other local users respond.

The success of this sort of thing is largely dependent on how many users adopt the app, but the good news is that one of the developers lives in Jersey City and has already built up a large user base here. So questions asked about downtown JC are usually answered in seconds.

This app is great for those new to this area and especially for those who really know what's up around here. There are tons of categories such as restaurants, nightlife, beauty, shopping, arts & entertainment, etc.

Here's the review from Gigaom.

Posted on: 2011/3/9 18:53
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Re: Satis Bistro grand opening
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One more day until opening -- psyched. See you there on Thurs!!

Posted on: 2010/12/8 22:55
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Re: Satis Bistro grand opening
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Ate here tonight as part of a work function (official opening is Thursday night.) Outstanding! And though I didn't pay, the prices on the menu are really, really reasonable -- most expensive is the filet mignon at 20bones. More importantly, the food was really, really good. And the raspberry gelato for dessert was really an outrage, the great kind of outrage -- as in, I am mad at myself for only now experiencing this for the first time.

I'm sure there will be the usual restaurant opening hiccups in the coming weeks but our experience was seamless.

Definitely worth a try.

Note -- the place is BYOB but booze can be delivered from the liquor store on the corner should one be thirsty and forget to bring it with.

Posted on: 2010/12/8 4:59
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Re: J CITY Theater's production: "State of the Union" - winner of the Pulitzer Prize
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Just got in from seeing tonight's performance of SOTU. My wife and I enjoyed ourselves immensely! Performances were generally very good. And I never cease to be amazed by the dexterity shown in sets, costumes and -- most importantly -- direction. However, the thing I found most amazing about the play:

Despite its age (written in 1945), the themes, much of the dialogue could've been ripped from a back room somewhere in Washington TODAY.

In fact, after yesterday's national election debacle, I found SOTU to be extremely comforting. Like I wasn't alone in thinking that everybody is crazy. These playwrights in 1945 were thinking the exact same thing. I felt they were writing as if for today. Perhaps national politics aren't such a cluster'f' right now; or if they are, things were the same in 1945. There's something oddly consoling in the fact that kindred spirits both exist and existed.

Thank you to the JCITY theater for reminding me of that.

Great performances, great show, all in our own backyard steps from Hamilton Park. See it!!!

Posted on: 2010/11/4 3:06
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Re: JC featured in Soprano State Documentary
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Quote:
HamiltonParker said:
I was fortunate enough to attend the red carpet debut for this film on Monday night as my brother in law is an undercover reporter for the Bergen Record who's interviewed throughout.


What's an "undercover reporter"?

Posted on: 2010/10/21 14:41
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LCCS' Skinner featured in WSJ on charter schools
#6
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WSJ 10/19


Charter Backers Want More Action From Christie


By LISA FLEISHER
Charter-school advocates in New Jersey are keeping a close eye on Gov. Chris Christie this year, saying he has been a vocal cheerleader but his administration has been slow to implement changes to help their movement gain ground.

"People inside the charter-school community are a little disappointed," said Shelley Skinner, a board member of the New Jersey Charter School Association and director at a Jersey City charter school. "We like what we hear from the governor, and we're excited that he's excited about charter schools. But we have yet to hear any concrete details on the issues that are going to help us be sustainable."

Publicly, Mr. Christie has said he wants to open more charter schools and attract more organizations with records of successfully running them. Charter operators and consultants, though, say the administration needs to be more specific about funding, free access to unused facilities and regulations they say hamstring them. They also describe a Department of Education that is well-meaning but understaffed.

Recent moves have left some in the charter community scratching their heads. In a month when Mr. Christie said he wanted to vastly expand charter schools, the state quietly approved just six, out of 36 applications submitted. And while the state trumpeted a move that gave charter schools access to $30 million in low-cost federal loans for buildings, charter officials said it would come too late for them to use it before the program's end-of-year deadline.

"The administration is not going to achieve a culture change overnight," DOE spokesman Alan Guenther said. "But we have taken really significant steps to help improve the environment here. We would ask for their patience, and we think that their patience will be rewarded."

Charter schools, approved in New Jersey in 1995, are public schools formed as independent districts and are often places that test innovative methods. State funding is less generous than for traditional districts.

This year, 50 applications for charter schools were submitted by the deadline Friday?the highest number in at least 10 years, according to the state Department of Education. Yet without start-up money or help paying rent?two things the state isn't obligated to provide?it will be difficult for the new schools to make a go of it, said Brian Keenan, president of Real Estate Advisory and Development Services, a charter consultant.

"If there's no start-up money for them, I don't know how we're going to do it," Mr. Keenan said. "Where are these charter schools going to get money to open their doors, hire teachers, and put their deposit down or pay their first month's rent?"

The DOE is making is forming a team to address charter schools' concerns, and the administration intends to hire more people, Mr. Guenther said.

The biggest challenge this year will come as Mr. Christie revises the formula the state uses to dole out tax dollars to school districts. Now, charter schools receive at most 90% of the subsidy traditional districts receive. In addition, charter operators want free access to unused space in public-school buildings they say have already been paid for once by taxpayers. Mr. Guenther said the Attorney General's office is expected to finish a review of the formula this year and he could not comment further.

The governor's vocal support?he has made passionate speeches on the subject from Washington to the set of Oprah Winfrey's TV show?is something, at least, said Carlos Perez, chief executive of the state's charter association.

"I'm not saying that he has done an inadequate job," Mr. Perez said. "Cut him a little bit of slack. It's been less than a year. We want to see the best environment for charter schools, but we also recognize that changing an entire state culture around education is a big shift to move."

Posted on: 2010/10/19 14:50
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Re: Election Day Tuesday November 2, 2010
#7
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It depends upon your definition of "notable", but the Hudson County Sheriff's election will occur on Election Day. And depending upon where you live, you might be voting in one or two special elections, as well:

If you live in Ward B, there is the special election to re-elect your Councilman, David Donnelly. He replaced Phil Kenny after Kenny's guilty plea last year.

If you live in the 31st legislative district of NJ, there is a special election for Jason O'Donnell. He's the Assemblyman that replaced Anthony Chiappione following the latter's guilty plea this year.

Otherwise, you're voting in the US Congressional and County Sheriff's elections only.

Go to http://www.hudsoncountyclerk.org/elections/default.htm for more info.

VOTE VOTE VOTE

Posted on: 2010/10/18 17:03
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Re: Tickets for parking within 25 feet of a crosswalk
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The Parking Authority is in a tough spot.

If they start enforcing the state laws as written, it will eliminate HUNDREDS of spots from downtown leading to a huge backlash from our neighbors with cars. The state legislation was clearly not written with urban municipalities in mind.

As it stands, the unofficial policy of the PA is to leave cars alone unless they are over the line of or in the crosswalk.

There is an informal process to review this underway and community input is always appreciated by the PA, as I understand it. The next PA meeting is Tuesday, October 26th at 5:30pm. Some of you folks should go and voice your concerns.

Posted on: 2010/10/15 17:06
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Re: Jersey City Superintendent of Schools Charles T. Epps Jr. $300.000.00/year
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Quote:
DanL said:
I agree with Mack and Waterman that it is time to turn the page and bring in new leadership. However, whether a violation of the law or just the spirit of the law, Mack and Waterman by voting may also be subject to the ethics code complaint/violation and petition of appeal. Lester made the "right" decision by refusing to vote (abstaining). The public hearing must be held to legal requirements. Even if the board members are (already) firm in their position, anyone accepting the responsibility of serving the public takes on the obligation of remaining open to the idea that there could be comment or information presented by the public that could influence or impact their vote. That said - it is pretty clear that the majority of the BoE want to extend the contract and the public hearing (if the first vote is invalidated) is unlikely to change the outcome. Those forward thinking board members and the public (us) should be looking to improve accountability (and performance) by ensuring that clear and meaningful benchmarks are in place of any superintendent contact. public anger and frustration is understandable. we must move in a new direction. board of education elections are only 9 months away. Vote!


I agree with everything you say here, Dan, except for the suggestion that Sterling Waterman and Sue Mack might be subject to ethics complaints, as well. Carol Lester, Sterling and Sue were all put in a difficult position with this vote and there is absolutely no legal or ethical problem with voting against the illegal and unethical Epps contract extension.

They are all on the same side and there is no reason to try to drive a wedge between them. Nobody is slamming Carol for her abstention even if many would have preferred that she had voted 'no'.

Let's stay focused on the real issue and lever every chance we have to affect the upcoming votes of the BoE and STOP THE ILLEGAL EXTENSION OF EPPS CONTRACT. Once the dust clears and April is upon us again, we can work together to elect BoE members who are more like Carol, Sue and Sterling.

Posted on: 2010/7/16 14:20
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Anybody know of a good JC meeting space?
#10
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A local civic/philanthropy organization is having a meeting in JC and need a proper space.

Requirements:
Cheap or free
Space for 20-30 people

Be great if it had:
Chairs
A bar


Would be on Thurs Aug 5 around 7 in the evening so a bar would be great, but they need to have a private area so as not to disturb/be disturbed. Any ideas, anybody?

Posted on: 2010/7/16 14:02
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Re: Dr. Epps Contract Extended
#11
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Kids
Parents
Teachers
Taxes
Crime
Property values
Government
Governmental accountability

If you care about any of the above, it is crucial that you stay engaged in the issue of Dr. Epps' illegally procured contract extension.

This would subject our city to three more years of superintendent-failure from a man who refuses to even admit that there is a serious problem in the system. Across-the-board school failure has serious consequences for every single person in our city and while seeking a new superintendent is not a silver bullet, it is folly to stay the course when our current superintendent is failing so dramatically.

I support Sterling Waterman who currently stands alone on the Board of Education in publicly opposing the illegal contract extension granted by his colleagues. It is time for the fence-sitters to drop this nonsense and stand with him.

Posted on: 2010/6/30 16:05
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Re: Hamilton Park Renovation - Update
#12
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Vigilante wrote:
Quote:
Shouldn't this say * Voice your concerns and questions about the park, including the Basketball court? There hasn't been one iota of a problem emanating from the dog-runs. Stop deflecting. Admit you guys blew it, clean up the court and move on.


Looks like an honest omission to me. Cut 'em some slack; they just got your big, beautiful dog run built.

Posted on: 2010/6/1 3:13
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Re: 3 Jersey City couples have fun battling each other for $10,000 renovations prize on HGTV show ai
#13
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Quote:

Bill463 wrote:
Yeah I'm afraid I did not find anything funny in his behavior on the show. I found the 'humor' to be forced and fake. It is certainly good to know that the man is not this way in real life. I'm just surprised that such an intelligent & accomplished neighbor would allow himself to be portrayed as a total buffoon. I suppose it's good that some folks here in Jersey City know 'the real person' - it is ashame that the rest of the country that has never met him may come away with a negative impression of him from viewing this show.


It's wonderful that you are so worried about the impression others in the country will have of him. You must really care. Or you may be a little passive-aggressive. Actually -- I'm a little worried about the negative impression that others on this forum might be getting from these posts.

Also just to keep it real -- Mr. Rivos ain't got no Masters, though Iris deservedly does.

Posted on: 2010/5/31 21:49
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Re: 3 Jersey City couples have fun battling each other for $10,000 renovations prize on HGTV show ai
#14
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I've never been one to mince words on the Rivo. The man is truly unbelievable.

But earlier episodes of that show were boring and Rivo probably gave the editors much more to work with than previous families. The way they painted him is not necessarily indicative of the whole of what was going on.

Even still -- the farcical character they showed was pretty funny, intentional or not.

Posted on: 2010/5/31 18:19
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Re: Hamilton Park Renovation - Update
#15
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Falcon says:
Quote:
I am into in person confrontation; if we can get a group of 4-10 people to confront the obvious offenders on a regular basis; I am open to all solutions.

I am thinking that we can do one or more of these ideas:
1. stand on the basketball court and demand that all trash be picked up before we allow play to resume
2. kick the trash onto the court and put the basketballs in the garbage
3. Call the police and back them up when they enforce the law.
4. Throw all the trash in the garbage including the half full and full drink containers.


This a fascinating puzzle.

The morning after the park opened at about 7am, there was a young mom playing with her son in the playground; and after playing for a little while, they walked over to the basketball court and began ferrying trash from there to the nearest garbage can. It made me sick that it was necessary but also a little bit hopeful for the human race at large.

Having seen that, and knowing the lack of awareness held by many in the way littering affects others, I sympathize with the likes of Mr. Falcon. It would feel great to take the problem into our own hands to make the littering stop.

But there are complications with this sort of approach. The main one being that it would be silly to attempt to punish all users of the basketball court for the littering of just some users of the basketball court. There is some value to this -- possible peer pressure from those effected to the litterers, for example -- it just seems a little haphazard.

What we need is a way to make littering more difficult and more costly for the litterers. Sometimes I wish shooting paintball guns at people was a little less illegal because you could just station people in shifts to oversee the litterers until good habits take hold.

Barring that, the first best step is to bring some garbage cans closer to the basketball courts. They are WAY too far away. I guarantee fewer people would litter if it was a little easier to not litter.

Next, post signs with the penalties for littering and suggest to the police that they actually bust people on a regular basis for at least a few months or until better habits take hold.

If that and other efforts fail, I think action in the direction of Mr. Falcon's post is necessary. Beyond his suggestions, the parents and dog walkers have ammunition of their own after all. It's the same type of ammunition and their wards produce a lot of it. A day or weeklong campaign of intentional messiness on the basketball court to draw attention to the problem could go a long way.

It would be pretty funny, at least.

Posted on: 2010/5/31 4:31
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Waterman on BoE Superintendent search
#16
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Op-Ed: Jersey City Superintendent of Schools search would be a valuable process
By The Jersey Journal
May 20, 2010, 6:30AM

By STERLING WATERMAN
SPECIAL TO THE JOURNAL

As a member of the Jersey City Board of Education, it is our responsibility to insure that our students have the best opportunity to receive the highest quality of education possible. This year's budget cuts and a forecast for more of the same next year make this a serious challenge. As a board, we would be irresponsible not to evaluate everything that directly affects our students and teachers.

A critical part of this is indeed looking at the leadership of the Jersey City public schools. Kudos to board member Angel Valentin for broaching the subject of a nationwide search for a superintendent and following up with a promise of resolution.

The language in Superintendent Charles T. Epps Jr.'s contract requires the board must give notice to Dr. Epps a minimum of three months. With this being a crucial and extremely important process, it behooves us all to take the maximum amount of time given for this search, which is why the process needs to start now as Dr. Epps' contract is up in June 2011.

We can not and should not lose our first and best chance to make critical improvements to the system.

The idea of a national search is a straightforward idea. It gives the Board of Education the opportunity to hear new ideas, re-evaluate the way our schools operate, and invite the sort of reforms so critically needed in our offices and classrooms. Unfortunately, this process is not a simple one. The importance of the superintendent position can not be overstated. This individual is the leader of the entire Jersey City school system, controlling a bureaucracy whose budget eclipses that of our entire city and making decisions every day which determine the fate of over 28,000 children.

Whether or not we have -- or plan to have -- children in the school system, this issue will affect us, either through our taxes, our property values, our rental outlays and/or the local crime statistics.

The performance of our schools have been uneven at best, with a handful of schools succeeding and others that have been persistently underachieving. It would be the height of irresponsibility to allow this opportunity to pass us by and not to reflect and explore the direction we want to take our schools.

The vote we will cast tonight is not a vote on whether Dr. Epps will or will not be the next superintendent, it is about making the most informed decision possible on behalf of our students, parents and taxpayers. Indeed, if no better candidates are found at the conclusion of the nationwide search, we will work closely and collegially with Dr. Epps to make the improvements necessary to bring our school system back, and restore our promise to the city's children. That promise is what this is about; and on that objective, I know Dr. Epps and all of the Board of Education members see eye-to-eye.

Still, as members of the Board of Education, we must hold our standards high and our schools' possibilities limitless.

We must do away with the ever present status quo. The children and the people of Jersey City can no longer sustain that.

Sterling Waterman is a member of Jersey City Board of Education.

Posted on: 2010/5/20 13:35
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Re: Montgomery Gardens Area: Pack of teens surround man, beat him with brick and shoot him in neck
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Quote:
by hero69 on 2010/5/12 12:29:16 why not the death penalty if they are guilty?



If you're asking a legal question: NJ doesn't currently use the death penalty as punishment.

If you're asking a moral question: Your opinion is quite valid, though I personally disagree.

Posted on: 2010/5/12 17:17
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Re: Upcoming Board of Ed meetings
#18
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Quote:
by stepanstas on 2010/5/12 11:05:20 Good thing Sterling checks in once in a while AFTER the election. This way we know how he will vote and what he thinks of the contract.


Get your torches and pitchforks, boys! It's time for some good ole knee-jerk outrage! Bring all your snark, but make sure you leave the evidence at home, okay?

Posted on: 2010/5/12 17:11
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Re: ALL POINTS BORSCHT -- MAY 15th -- 8pm
#19
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Rivo is such a loose cannon. I can't wait to see who he offends at this thing.

Posted on: 2010/5/7 22:48
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Re: Movie Filming Downtown: Barge Inn/Pecoraro Bakery
#20
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The actor who played Furio on the Sopranos and a couple of other fellows were standing outside St. Mike's two days ago. Same movie?

Posted on: 2010/5/7 18:05
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Re: Hamilton Park Renovation - Update
#21
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Yesterday and today, they've been surfacing the playground with what looks like asphalt. Presumably if it is asphalt, there'll be some softer stuff put on top. Anybody got any intel on this?

Posted on: 2010/5/5 18:24
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Re: Friends of Liberty State Park oppose Formula One Grand Prix in Jersey City
#22
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Having reviewed the docs, it's clear this would NOT be good for the park or the city.

Posted on: 2010/5/5 17:49
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Re: Friends of Liberty State Park oppose Formula One Grand Prix in Jersey City
#23
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I think this is an idea that should be taken seriously.

The points made by Joe Saward in his blogpost - this is the correct link: http://joesaward.wordpress.com/2010/05/04/thoughts-on-jersey-city/ - are really quite salient as far as they are true.

All too often we react negatively to the idea of government or corporations doing anything new with our green space without appraising the idea properly. I'm not yet in support of or opposed to this idea but it is certainly something worth considering, both as an improvement to our local economy and to LSP itself.

Posted on: 2010/5/4 14:46
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Re: Okay, so who here thinks the Katyn monument needs to go?
#24
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The feelings of discomfort and/or horror one gets while looking at the monument are exactly its intent.

Artist - 1
Haters - 0

I think it is powerful and moving and darkly beautiful -- especially considering the true story -- and it should definitely stay.

Posted on: 2010/4/29 14:18
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Re: School Board Election, Apr 20: Fulop Announces Candidates Support
#25
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I don't know if Councilman Fulop has a public position on the teacher's contract. The candidates he's endorsed have differing positions, a reminder that that's just one of many important issues which the School Board confronts.

Posted on: 2010/4/20 16:24
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Re: Hamilton Park Renovation - Update
#26
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The basketball hoops went up Saturday and there's a new subsurface down on the playground. Looks like it's getting close.

Posted on: 2010/4/19 22:32
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Re: City Hires Former Mayor and Felon, Gerry McCann
#27
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It couldn't have been more obvious from his thinly veiled attacks that Gerry is running scared.

Posted on: 2010/4/14 13:33
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Re: Antique Coin Appraisal in JC/Hudson County?
#28
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Bumpin this because I'm curious, too. Anybody have any ideas on this?

Posted on: 2010/4/12 14:17
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Re: Jersey City Board of Education
#29
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Quote:
DickCheney (great handle!) wrote:
I am a lifelong JC resident and I personally cannot stand McCann, at his best he is a jacka**. However, he voted against the new teachers contract that gave unaffordable raises of over 4% per year for 3 years to the union. He also voted against the budget, given that we will be getting less state aid next year.


Teacher-bashing is a pretty popular sport these days and some of the criticism is warranted. But make no mistake, the issue of raises is just a distraction. If Gerry really wanted to cut costs, it's in teacher's benefits that real savings can be found. As candidates such as Sterling Waterman and Carol Lester have mentioned, once on the board they will carefully consider raises so long as meaningful concessions are made by the teacher's union on health and retirement benefits.

This is something that will have to be coordinated at the state-level as well since those benefits are partly or wholly administered from there.

You think Gerry McCann can play nicely enough long enough to coordinate anything with anybody? I think it's a mistake to assume this guy will accomplish anything more than the nothing he's accomplished over the last 3 years. He knows just as well as anyone that it's the benefits that matter. Yet he's all too happy to ignore the real issue in favor of blowing with the political breezes by bashing and bashing the teachers.

One has to strike a balance and shouldn't be too cozy with the NJEA, but a virulently anti-teacher politician should not be running the school system.

That's one reason why I support Sterling Waterman and Carol Lester. They will do the right things on the REAL issues like cutting administrative bloat: the principal driver of costs in the $600 million budget. I haven't heard Gerry McCann say a word about that. Wonder why?

Posted on: 2010/4/9 18:33
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Re: Parkside Bistro - Hamilton Park
#30
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Ate there last night. At first, we were suspicious; there were Italian dishes along with many Greek/Middle-Eastern offerings which seemed a little strange. But shortly after ordering, Rani, the owner/chef, came over and explained he's half Italian/half Egyptian and drew inspiration from his roots as well as his travels following culinary school.

I ordered the mixed kebab platter and frankly, it was outrageously delicious. Perfectly cooked chicken, perfectly grilled skirt steak, and the kefte was right on. Came with some really good yogurt sauce, as well. One of my dining companions wasn't thrilled with her hummus, but otherwise, everybody was pretty pysched with their meals. Dessert was a brownie with vanilla ice cream, great great great, and apparently made fresh on-site by Rani's wife.

I think, while certainly not perfect, Parkside Bistro is a great addition to the neighborhood and I really wish them the best.

Posted on: 2010/4/6 16:02
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