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Re: Propsed Sports Complex in Washington Park (JC Heights)
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It looks like the Washington Park Association was able to work something out with Union City Mayor Brian Stack and Hudson County. JC Independent is reporting that the WPA will be partnering with UC and HC to develop the sports field. They also state that Jersey City residents will get a chance to be part of a committee to help with ideas and concerns about the project.

JC Independent Article

Posted on: 2011/1/24 18:15
Jay Res
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Re: Propsed Sports Complex in Washington Park (JC Heights)
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Have there been any updates on Mayor Stack's proposed Sports Complex? Was the WPA able to put a halt to this for the time being?

Posted on: 2011/1/5 15:41
Jay Res
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Re: Propsed Sports Complex in Washington Park (JC Heights)
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@truthinprint that's good that there are UC residents standing up against this issue! But from what that article states, it seems that Stack is trying to bully his way through everything by gathering a mass amount of people from other parts of UC who don't really care about what goes on in that section of their city. Kind of like, "out of sight, out of mind." Sad! Also, its sad that we cannot even get support from OUR local government officials.

Posted on: 2010/11/30 19:21
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Re: Propsed Sports Complex in Washington Park (JC Heights)
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The update from far north jc heights is that it's rumored the WPA has another private meeting with DeGise and Stack on Tuesday night. Too bad they can't ask their Ward D councilman for help. Why? Because he's also the Chief of Staff for DeGise!

The good news is the furious residents of Union City are organizing! The ones who live right on the park and several blocks deep. They don't want the 80ft trees cut down and they definitely don't need more parking, traffic, light and noise problems.

Posted on: 2010/11/29 21:57
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Re: Propsed Sports Complex in Washington Park (JC Heights)
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Hey everyone... I came across this article the other day regarding this same topic and wanted to know how y'all felt about it.. It was on NJ.com and it discussed how Mayor Stack may have thrown out some type of threat to the WPA as far as bringing in a mass number of Union City residents to outnumber the WPA members and show their strength. Also, there seems to be some political back story involving DeGise and Stack that is going to make it difficult for the residents of JC to have a fair say in this matter. So basically, the citizens of JC will be forced to accept whatever Mayor Stack wants because DeGise only wants to make him happy to have his vote of confidence! It seems that as hard as we will try to fight this matter, the decision has already been made.

NJ.com

Posted on: 2010/11/29 15:23
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Re: Propsed Sports Complex in Washington Park (JC Heights)
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@pickledpark that sounds like Grade A blackmailing to me! So sad that our supposed county leaders are only concerned of taking care of their own kind. I wonder how much of a "kickback," I mean yearly bonus, they would get if this deal actually goes through. I signed the petition last week and spread the information to everyone that I know from JC. If they don't care about the people than the people need to find new leaders!

@truthinprint great observation! I completely forgot about that even happening. I don't think they are even concerned about safety or the opinions of their community. Just goes to show you the type of "leaders" that we have to deal with!

Posted on: 2010/11/22 18:16
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Re: Propsed Sports Complex in Washington Park (JC Heights)
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Does everyone remember what happened in 2005 along the cliff wall? This same wall also runs along the Eastern side of Washington Park. http://hoboken411.com/archives/6533

If what @pickledpark says about each tree absorbing up to 2400 gallons of water per year is true then shouldn't the county and Union City think about this?

Do they think a 1920's blue stone wall can handle the added 170 TONS of water pressure? Or will tax payees have to foot the bill once again for the short sighted political dealings of DeGise and Stack?

What will happen when it falls right into the Doric high-rise? Sounds like a game of dominos. Is this a risk we are willing to take? Next time you stop at the light next to the blue stone wall look closely. The grout is crumbling! The grant money would be better spent repairing the wall. Just saying.

Posted on: 2010/11/22 17:58
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Re: Propsed Sports Complex in Washington Park (JC Heights)
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Sign the online petition! [url=http://www.thepetitionsite][url=http://www.thepetitionsite.com/1/stop-the-vote-for-a-football-field-in-washington-park/]http://www.thepetitionsite


The WPA met with the County where DeGise and Gaughan told the WPA by opposing the Union City grant the WPA stands to lose their own grant recommendation for 100K.

The WPA told them they couldn't lose what they didn't have and that they are willing to lose the entire organization in the effort to be bring the publics concerns into the light of day.

Most Hudson Co residents throw their hands up in the air and says "oh well it's a done deal and we can't do anything about it" then they pack up their home and more to Maplewood or Montclair.

Why are all the people who try to improve quality of life issues in this place we call home discouraged?

Sign the petition! Enough is enough. Let's support an organization which has a solid track record as volunteer park stewards.

Posted on: 2010/11/22 16:45
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Re: Propsed Sports Complex in Washington Park (JC Heights)
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@pickledpark WOW! I am not going to lie, science was not always my best subject, so thank you for enlightening me with this information. I respect the concerns over the destruction of trees and can understand how essential they are to our everyday life!

Posted on: 2010/11/19 3:38
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Re: Propsed Sports Complex in Washington Park (JC Heights)
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One 70+ year-old tree absorbs over 2,400 gallons of water per year. Look at your annual water bill and do the math. A wonderful new field will drain several tons of water into some of the oldest sewage systems in Hudson County. (And they are taking down 17 of them for this ball field, in case you missed that in previous threads.

Heck trees don\'t teach us nothing. Tear\'em down, arrgh, and put in a nice green artificial turf field. It\'s green all the time, right? We\'ll plant more trees, no problem, right?

Well no actually. It will take 10+ years for the increased number of trees to absorb the same amount of water and support the same biology.

Trees teach us everyday we just don\'t listen. That was my research now...
Here\'s a JCList educational program direct from Wikipedia......

Trees are an important component of the natural landscape because of their prevention of erosion and the provision of a weather-sheltered ecosystem in and under their foliage. They also play an important role in producing oxygen and reducing carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, as well as moderating ground temperatures. They are also elements in landscaping and agriculture, both for their aesthetic appeal and their orchard crops (such as apples). Wood from trees is a building material, as well as a primary energy source in many developing countries. Trees also play a role in many of the world\'s mythologies

Here is mythology @milkbone:

Tree worship (dendrolatry) refers to the tendency of many societies throughout history to worship or otherwise mythologize trees. Trees have played an important role in many of the world\'s mythologies and religions, and have been given deep and sacred meanings throughout the ages. Human beings, observing the growth and death of trees, the elasticity of their branches, the sensitivity and the annual decay and revival of their foliage, see them as powerful symbols of growth, decay and resurrection. The most ancient cross-cultural symbolic representation of the universe\'s construction is the world tree.
The image of the Tree of life is also a favourite in many mythologies. Do you put a tree in your home about this time every year?

Trees sustain us, therefore we should take pause and consider before taking one down. Can we keep doing this? Just in case you\'re still not with me, that\'s a big NO damn-it!

You need fresh air to play sports not a carbon monoxide wasteland of hot synthetic fibers. Yes, we need fields. Yes, fields are important to us and so is our future. Please not here. Not now. Not ever!

Posted on: 2010/11/19 3:27
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Re: Propsed Sports Complex in Washington Park (JC Heights)
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@milkbone I agree but my problem is that they are making it ONLY for the children of Union City while leaving the kids of Jersey City out even though it is a County park that lies between both cities. The children of our city are in need of a facility strictly for recreational purposes and I would have liked some collaboration between the two instead of closed door agreements to benefit solely one side.

@sepecat the section in question is actually split with part of the park being in Jersey City and the other part being in Union City. As stated above, the problem that I have is leaving Jersey City children out of the equation.

Posted on: 2010/11/18 16:10
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Re: Propsed Sports Complex in Washington Park (JC Heights)
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Is the park in Jersey City or Union City? I always thought the city line ends at Paterson Plank rd.. Is the plan on putting the complex on the JC or the UC side? Now if its in JC how can Stack dictate what is built on our side? Same to posters who is opposing it, if its in Union City how does it affect Jersey City?

Posted on: 2010/11/18 16:05
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Re: Propsed Sports Complex in Washington Park (JC Heights)
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Professional sports facilitys are indicative of a professional City. Trees cannot teach our youth. Liberty State Park similarly lacks professional sports facultys.

Posted on: 2010/11/18 15:49
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Re: Propsed Sports Complex in Washington Park (JC Heights)
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Same here, Erin. I've sent several emails, without receiving even an automated response.

Posted on: 2010/11/18 14:53
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Re: Propsed Sports Complex in Washington Park (JC Heights)
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i think he is worthless. I have emailed repeatedly but apparently he feels he doesn't need to answer his constituents. If there is a recall effort for this man, count me in to do whatever.

Quote:

Jay_Res wrote:
@truthinprint this story just keeps on getting more and more interesting! It seems to me that what Gaughan is doing seems to violate some form of contractual obligations that he may have with his County job or his Council seat in JC! Is there any way to research this? Seems like another reason to push for a recall of Gaughan! Sad to see how most of his Ward is against this move and he is just staying quiet to make his boss (DeGise) happy! I feel ashamed to call him the Councilman of my Ward!

Posted on: 2010/11/18 14:50
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Re: Propsed Sports Complex in Washington Park (JC Heights)
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@truthinprint this story just keeps on getting more and more interesting! It seems to me that what Gaughan is doing seems to violate some form of contractual obligations that he may have with his County job or his Council seat in JC! Is there any way to research this? Seems like another reason to push for a recall of Gaughan! Sad to see how most of his Ward is against this move and he is just staying quiet to make his boss (DeGise) happy! I feel ashamed to call him the Councilman of my Ward!

Posted on: 2010/11/18 14:32
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Re: Propsed Sports Complex in Washington Park (JC Heights)
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Wow! This is crazy news. I just heard that DeGise and Gaughan both support the destruction of Washington Park! Aren't 4 ball fields in 1 park enough?
Gaughan even sat there and explained why his dual office holding (ward D councilman and Chief of Staff for the County Exec) prevents him from doing either job well! Can you say CONFLICT OF INTEREST?

Posted on: 2010/11/18 13:09
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Re: Propsed Sports Complex in Washington Park (JC Heights)
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WOW! Nice.. I didn't know people from Jersey City were reading JCList! Guess someone ran crying to Mayor Stack and told him the word got out! LOL..

Posted on: 2010/11/17 22:46
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Re: Propsed Sports Complex in Washington Park (JC Heights)
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Slippery Stack -

Mayor/State Senator Stack has now requested the 22nd meeting to be ONLY with the WPA. (Closed Door)

How dare the WPA for sharing information about a public meeting!

Public meetings in Hudson County are meant to be held on dates and at times no one is privy too! My bad for posting it here. Sorry WPA!

Why are politicians so afraid of their constituents? I guess we'll have to wait to hear back from the WPA to see what, if anything comes from such a meeting.

I know the WPA and they are passionate about protecting this 100 year old open space and are eager to learn more about what Union City's plans entail.

Posted on: 2010/11/17 21:16
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Re: Propsed Sports Complex in Washington Park (JC Heights)
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@pickledpark thank you for the information. I will try to make it to the meeting.

Posted on: 2010/11/17 13:55
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Re: Propsed Sports Complex in Washington Park (JC Heights)
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Washington Park Association has facilitated a public meeting with Mayor Brain Stack and Hudson County Executive Tom DeGise on:

November 22nd @ 7:30pm

Location: Bruce Walter Center, 507 West Street
(corner of 5th & West St) in Union City

All those interested in learning more about Union City's plan to build a multi-purpose ball field in Washington Park should plan to attend, ask questions and make your voice heard.

Posted on: 2010/11/17 4:57
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Re: Propsed Sports Complex in Washington Park (JC Heights)
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Wish I could attend the meeting tonight but I have classes and cannot make it. There has to be a way to make these type of proposals more transparent instead of having so many closed door deals! I think a football field would be great for the children of the Heights but there currently is not a logical geographical location to place it.

Posted on: 2010/11/16 20:18
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Re: Propsed Sports Complex in Washington Park (JC Heights)
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The meeting is tonight. The WPA trustees are needing to decide if they will try to fight the redevelopment of a historical park in turn jeopardizing their own grant recommendation for 100K.

100K for a grant that includes children learning gardens, community gardens, exercise stations, picnic tables, butterfly gardens, ADA upgrades, recycling bins, signage, and more.

Anyone who disagrees with Mayor/State Senator Stack are blacklisted as having political agendas or crazies. Someone needs to tell Stack and Sacco a democracy allows people to disagree and civil leaders should not blacklist those who have different opinions. The words "Understanding with Compassion" is on the Union City seal.

And I love UC too! Union City is a wonderful city. Very cozy (albeit congested) quaint and FULL of history. A wonderful place to raise children, great schools and programs, fantastic location with easy access to NYC and the NJ Turnpike. Mayor Stack can't have it both ways. He complains about it being the most densely populated city in the country then turns around and builds more high rises, turns every pocket park into a synthetic turf playground or ball field, takes down old growth trees thinking little new ones are sufficient replacements.

The projects in UC are usually well designed to give them some credit. However, like the new swimming pool built hovering the Palisade Cliffs, Union City kids deserve better! There are lines 3 blocks long and once they wait on a hot street for over an hour the kids only get to swim for about 15 minutes before they get kicked out, allowing for the next group to come in.

Is there a strategy or just a series of band-aides to address the real needs of Union City and Hudson County.

Beware! Your park is next! Specifically, Pershing Field has been targeted for the next round of "renovations" in the Heights.

Posted on: 2010/11/16 13:49
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Re: Propsed Sports Complex in Washington Park (JC Heights)
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@pickledpark thank you for your insight. I had a feeling everyone was being kept in the dark. Similarly to what the WPA stated, I did not hear about this proposal until the Jersey Journal reported it. It is rather upsetting that they would make such a proposal that would EXCLUDE children! That alone sounds so ridiculous. I cannot understand why our government can just propose to use money without proper planning. A report including the entire community, especially neighbors of the work, should have been a requirement. You stated the next meeting is this week, when? Once again, thanks for the info.

Posted on: 2010/11/16 4:30
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Re: Propsed Sports Complex in Washington Park (JC Heights)
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Thank you for this information. This is some of the information that I was looking for.

Posted on: 2010/11/16 4:27
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Re: Propsed Sports Complex in Washington Park (JC Heights)
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First, how can residents misrepresent something that was never shared with the community surrounding Wash Park?

Second, we have obtained their grant proposal and it includes $300,000 in lighting. After they take down 17 of the 70 year old trees surrounding and shield us all from the glaring light it won't really matter which direction the lights are pointed. They will affect us all. (Again, the grant proposal does not contain a comprehensive study or design for the complex). If the WPA would have been consulted before hand we might have been able to come to a more responsible and strategic plan to grow recreational space while protecting open space.

We have yet to find 1 single resident in the area (2nd st in Union City, The Doric Highrise, Palisade Avenue or where ever) who knew about this grant proposal.

Again, we are not against ball fields or sports, we are only against the location which will put even more stress on the infrastructure at on of the busiest intersections in our neighborhood.

The WPA has not been allowed to present any solutions to Union City's short sighted plans. We have offered to partner with the County and Union City and write grants to buy over 100 acres only 10 minutes away off of Secacus Rd. This area is part of the ARC land where UC and HC could truly grow into a sports complex with parking, a park, and its part wetlands which means there are EPA dollars available. This is what the children of Union City and Hudson County deserve!

All of these suggestions and concerns have been discarded by HC and UC. They seem to be determined to build the field in Wash Park. Any recommendations or support anyone can offer then please share. WPA meetings are always open to the public to attend and comment. We also have a MeetUp group which you can sign up for via our website. www.wpanj.org

We are having our 3rd strategic meeting this week.

Posted on: 2010/11/16 4:16
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Re: Propsed Sports Complex in Washington Park (JC Heights)
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The truth is the WPA only learned of the grant when it was printed in the Jersey Journal on Sept 22. The WPA had to fill out a request to get a copy of Union City\'s Application for Washington Park. A total redevelopment in the amount of 2 million dollars. Here is a informative letter that should help bring everyone up to speed.

A few things everyone should know about Washington Park. It is a Hudson County Park divided into 4 sections by area streets. Paterson Plank Road divides the park in half among Jersey City and Union City. Union City has a \"dollar\" lease agreement with the County for what\'s known as Park #3, which is where this \"renovation\" is being proposed. Hudson County\'s goal to add more recreational spaces in turn takes away open spaces. Union City uses the word \"park\" to describe everything from a playground to a ball field. Park Number Three is the largest remaining open space inside Union City limits. Union City is the most densely populated city in America. Jersey City and Hudson County do not see anything wrong with this project. They have refused to get involve at this point.

November 8, 2010

Dear Neighbors and Residents,

Union City?s proposal to cram an oversized sports complex on the small parcel of land known as Washington Park Number Three (between Paterson Plank Road and Second Street along Palisade Avenue) is ill-conceived and will result in more harm than real benefit to our community. The proposed location is inappropriate and will unleash limitless traffic and parking chaos within our neighborhood. Further, the development of a sports complex in Washington Park Number Three will neither address Union City?s open space needs nor the recreational needs of the children of Union City and Hudson County.
The Washington Park Association (WPA) has been the sole community advocacy group for the protection of Washington Park, preservation of open space, and the improvement of recreational facilities for the last three (3) years. In this short time, we have been successful in bringing about recent upgrades to the park including a new dog run, two (2) new ball fields, a playground, volleyball court, art installation, and additional basketball courts.

As volunteer stewards of the park, we have successfully spearheaded an agreement with local law enforcement, which has resulted in 24-hour patrols of the park and increased safety for children and their families.

That such a large-scale project would be planned without any input from the community and local residents is shocking. The WPA, like many of you, only just learned of the breadth of this proposal through the Jersey Journal on September 20th. We have been contacted by area residents concerned about how this proposal will impact our neighborhood and have been asked by the community to seek transparency regarding the details of Union City?s plan. We want your concerns to be heard.

Union City wants the community to believe that their proposal is a ?no brainer? and simply about serving the needs of children; however, no plans have been laid out that speak to the myriad new problems that the development of this sports complex will cause ? concerns, including, but not limited to:

1. Lack of sufficient parking and traffic congestion Noise and light pollution from $300,000 in proposed lighting fixtures

2. Destruction of our community\'s character, city views, and historic open space

3. Exclusion of Hudson County?s 93,000 children residing outside of Union City who will NOT be granted use of these facilities.

The WPA, through our many conversations with the community, understands the need for more playing fields; however, the planned location will tamper with the park?s history, legacy, and a community?s identity. The proposed redevelopment is not limited to renovations to the current Cal Ripken field, which are indeed needed.

The proposed ?renovations? will increase the footprint of the current field, taking up a total of 1.3 acres. The existing park would be gutted and expanded, and a new artificial turf field for football, baseball and soccer enclosed by 20- foot-high concrete walls will be erected, thus destroying the only remaining green open space in Union City. Virtually overnight, the historic Washington Park ? a fixture of our community that recently celebrated its 100th anniversary ? would be irretrievably transformed. It is not at all clear that our elected officials have considered these negative consequences. The creation of this sports complex is not inevitable.

A PUBLIC meeting has been set w/ Mayor Stack & The County Executive for Monday, Nov. 22nd , 7:30 pm at the Bruce Walter Center , 507 West Street ( the corner of 5th & West St.), Union City. We hope to see some friendly faces!

Posted on: 2010/11/16 3:59
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Re: Propsed Sports Complex in Washington Park (JC Heights)
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Jerseymom:

Thank you for your response. I did read this and it sparked my interest. But, it does not give me a specific breakdown. From this article, we could tell that UC Mayor Brian Stack and his team have not really collaborated with JC government officials or the Department of Recreation. The mayor's spokesman states that he has tried to reach out to the Washington Park Association to discuss the matter but he does not state anything about actually having discussions with the city. Therefore, I am looking for basically a breakdown of the plans or the request that Stack sent to the State. I don't know about anyone else, but it saddens me to think that Mayor Healy has basically done nothing (at least publicly) to state any concern over lack of communication with the city. Then again, it might have been something "worked out" behind closed doors (like all other deals are done). Just looking for some transparency! LOL..

Posted on: 2010/11/16 3:09
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Re: Propsed Sports Complex in Washington Park (JC Heights)
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Jay - is this what you mean? It's not a complex, per se, just a multi-purpose field:

From 10/29 NJ.com/The Jersey Journal

Hudson County?s plans to fund installation of a synthetic turf field in the Union City side of Washington Park came under fire during a public hearing on open space grants.

Roughly 50 people attended Thursday?s Board of Freeholders meeting where a handful of people spoke against installing a multi-use turf field in Washington Park 3.

Washington Park Association President Mory Thomas was not present, but had a letter read on his behalf. The organization, which has 80 members, said it was not consulted about the field.

?Park 3 itself was historically a rose garden, that rose garden was removed to accommodate the current ball field,? Thomas rote. ?Now Washington Park has four ball parks, including two recently installed synthetic fields. While the WPA promotes athletics and sporting events in the park, we are opposed to turning the park into a dedicated sports complex.?

Mark Albiez a spokesman for Union City Mayor Brian Stack said the mayor has offered to meet with the association several times and is disappointed the group spoke against the field.

?We?re happy to work wit them just as we have with many other associations over the years. It?s the mayor?s duty to accommodate all resident groups and he won?t be bullied by one organization,? Albiez said. ?There are 15,000 children in Union City who need ball fields and positive outlets such as recreation leagues.?

Residents said 17 shade trees would need to be removed to accommodate the new field, which would include building a wall along Palisade Ave. Residents said the field would likely be gated and locked, like a small soccer field that has been erected in some of the passive recreation space at Park 3.

?The passive areas in the park are going to be greatly diminished,? WPA Secretary Nick Caballero said.

Residents also said that their neighborhood would be adversely impacted by increased traffic, noise and litter as a result of increased use of the field.

The multi-use field would be used for soccer, football and baseball. Park 3 only has a baseball field, which is used seasonally. While in use, residents said coaches and parents drive along the walking paths and park on the grass in the park because there is not enough street parking to accommodate residents and event attendees.

Resident Joseph Duronio who lives near the synthetic turf fields on the Jersey City side of the park said the artificial fields have impacted storm water run-off and caused sewage backups in his home. He suggested a new, natural field, with proper drainage replace the ball field in Park 3.

?I think it can be done in a way that is beneficial, using a natural field,? he said. ?I do want investment in the park.?

Freeholders will not vote on the recommendations for at least 45 days.

Jersey City Freeholder Bill O?Dea defended the field saying many youth groups are turned away because there aren?t enough fields to accommodate them. He said the turf fields on the Jersey City side of the park are used by Jersey City teams and Union City needs its own field.

?There are a lot of coaches that have probably kept kids out of jail because they were able to get them involved in competitive sports rather than going another way,? O?Dea said.

Freeholder Director Tilo Rivas, who is also a Union City commissioner, said the city is committed to planting three trees for every one that is removed.

The hearing was on a $6.3 million plan to fund 17 projects in the county. The freeholders voted to add two additional items, they took $16,250 from the $133,000 for installation of a portion of the Berlin Wall in Jersey City and allocated it to the Historic Jersey City Harsimus Cemetery for a historic study. The board also voted to allocate $50,000 ? which was not taken from another project ? to fund stabilization of historic structures at Reservoir 3 in Jersey City.

Posted on: 2010/11/16 3:02
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Propsed Sports Complex in Washington Park (JC Heights)
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Does anyone know where I can find details about the proposed Sports Complex that Union City Mayor Brian Stack is trying to build in Washington Park (on the border of UC and JC)? I know that the Washington Park Association has a petition up but I do not find any detailed specifications as to what Stack really wants to do there and if he is collaborating with Jersey City. Any information would be helpful. Thanks!

Posted on: 2010/11/16 2:22
Jay Res
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