HOBOKEN BRIEFS
Sep 29, 2013 | 2882 views | 0 0 comments | 42 42 recommendations | email to a friend | print
briefs
ONE YEAR LATER – Religious, cultural and political leaders from around Hoboken and the Catholic Church gathered on Thursday to rededicate Hoboken Catholic Academy, which was relocated for an entire school year following Hurricane Sandy. The school moved temporarily to a Jersey City location while its Hoboken home, on Seventh Street between Madison and Monroe Streets, underwent extensive renovations. Bishop Manuel Cruz of the Newark Archdioceses spoke at the ceremony, along with Hoboken Mayor Dawn Zimmer, who issued a proclamation of recognition to the school for its rebuilding efforts.
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Hoboken University Medical Center to celebrate 150th anniversary on Wednesday

Hoboken University Medical Center, which was founded in 1863 and is the oldest continuously operating hospital in the entire state of New Jersey, will celebrate its 150th anniversary with a series of events on Wednesday, Oct. 2.

A continental breakfast and luncheon are reserved for special guests of the hospital, but at 11 a.m. there will be an open mass at Our Lady of Grace Church, just across the street at 400 Willow Ave. to commemorate the hospital’s anniversary. It will also serve as the hospital’s traditional annual mass to memorialize recently deceased physicians and medical professionals who have served at the hospital throughout its history.

The anniversary is especially important to the hospital this year, as the past decade has been one of the most defining in its history, with multiple struggles to remain open. In recent interviews, hospital officials described the 150th anniversary as a new phase in the hospital’s storied history.

Check out next weekend’s Reporter for coverage of the anniversary’s events and a story on the hospital’s past, present and future.

Fall Arts and Music Festival kicks off today on Washington Street

The autumn edition of Hoboken’s premier cultural event, the Arts and Music Festival, kicks off today (Sunday) on Washington Street. The festival, as usual, will take place from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Washington Street between Observer Highway and Seventh Street.

In addition to three stages of live music, the festival boasts the participation over 300 artists, sculptors, photographers and local crafters. There will also be rides, games, and face painting for children. Local businesses and government agencies will be manning booths up and down the festival, mixed in with food vendors from Hoboken and beyond.

The festival is sponsored primarily by a grant from the New Jersey Department of State, with local support from United Water, Walgreens, Capital One Bank, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, and The Hudson Reporter.

For a full schedule of the musical performances, see the entertainment section, page 19.

Mayoral candidate Occhipinti quits day job to focus on campaign

Fourth Ward City Councilman Tim Occhipinti, who is challenging incumbent Mayor Dawn Zimmer and state Assemblyman Ruben Ramos in the upcoming November election, announced Thursday that he had resigned from his job as an analyst at a Manhattan asset management firm to focus full-time on his campaign.

"I am extremely committed to this election and I want the people of Hoboken to know that I am dedicated to them and will fight full time for their point of view," said Occhipinti in a statement. "I am going to live the next few months on a very tight budget which is something every taxpayer understands too well and wishes City Hall did the same.”

Occhipinti has worked for Alliance Bernstein as an Application Support Analyst since 2004, and handed in his letter of resignation two weeks ago. This past Friday was set to be his last day.

When asked, a spokeswoman for the One Hoboken campaign said that Occhipinti has not worked out a deal with his former employer allowing him to rejoin the company should he lose the election. The spokeswoman, Amanda Palasciano, referred to the move as “a leap of faith.”

According to a statement released by the One Hoboken ticket, which also includes Frank Raia, Peter Biancamano and Britney Montgomery-Cook for city council, Occhipinti feels that it’s crucial to “give his all to the people of Hoboken.”

The ticket is running on a platform of government accountability and reduced spending, as well as improved parking and ending the city’s longstanding flood problems.

City’s citizen emergency response team honored by White House, FEMA

Lou Casciano, the coordinator of the Hoboken Community Emergency Response Team (CERT), was honored at the White House on Tuesday as part of an event called “Champions of Change,” which was designed to raise awareness about community preparedness and resilience. The event was curated by the Federal Emergency Management Authority (FEMA) and sought to bring together “community preparedness heroes.”

Casciano represented the entire CERT team, which was honored separately by FEMA last week.

As the coordinator of the CERT team, which was founded in 2009 and assisted first responders and emergency workers following Hurricane Irene in 2011 and Hurricane Sandy in 2012, Casciano manages a team of over 60 Hoboken residents and works with the city, the police and fire departments, and outside agencies during emergencies.

Recently, he has taken a lead role in advising residents about the Hoboken Ready resiliency program, which is designed to help Hobokenites “self-shelter” in the event of another Sandy-type disaster. You can read more about the program at http://www.hobokennj.org/ready/.

“Lou Casciano and our CERT volunteers helped save lives during Hurricane Sandy,” said Mayor Dawn Zimmer. “I congratulate them on this incredible honor and thank them for their ongoing work to educate and prepare our community for future emergencies through the Hoboken Ready initiative. Their efforts are an essential part of a comprehensive plan to make Hoboken more resilient.”

Assembly Transportation Committee holds hearing on jitneys

The New Jersey State Assembly Transportation Committee convened in Hoboken on Monday to discuss the ongoing issues of unregulated jitney buses throughout Hudson County, which have created what chairman and Hoboken mayoral candidate Ruben Ramos referred to as a “drag race atmosphere.”

The hearing was held a month after an 8-month-old North Bergen resident, Angelie Paredes, was killed on Boulevard East in West New York when a jitney driver, allegedly using his cell phone, hit a street pole, which struck the child.

Since then, various elected officials, including U.S. Senator Robert Menendez (D – NJ) and Representative Albio Sires (D – 8th Dist.) have called for federal legislation regulating jitneys, and state legislators have introduced bills into the state Senate and the Assembly that would hold jitneys to stricter standards.

The hearing on Monday was called to hear testimony on an Assembly bill that would demand that jitneys adhere to stricter insurance guidelines and more licensing regulations. A similar bill has been introduced in the state Senate by Sen. Nicholas Sacco, who is also the mayor of North Bergen.

“The business practice … is why we see the Wild West, goose chases to pick up fares throughout the day every day, [and] why we see the drag race atmosphere on Bergenline Avenue, Boulevard East, Summit Avenue and Palisades Avenue and taking place throughout our roads in Hudson County,’’ Ramos said, according to a report on NJ.com. “This has to be addressed."

According to NJ.com, the jitneys are subject to biannual inspections, but limited insurance, more similar to taxi regulations than those of commuter buses.

Hoboken Family Alliance to hold All Schools Open House on Thursday

The Hoboken Family Alliance (HFA) will hold its 9th Annual All Schools Open House for the community on Thursday, Oct.10. The event is an annual forum for parents to evaluate school options in Hoboken and the surrounding area. HFA has invited representatives from all of the area schools to meet with interested parents from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.

The event will be held in the Hoboken High School gymnasium, located at 800 Clinton Street. The event is free for HFA members, and $10 for non-members.

Parents will have the opportunity to visit all the local schools in one location and receive information summarizing the various programs – age requirements, tuition (if applicable), registration/application deadlines, and other questions.

School grades will be identified so that parents can focus on what schools make sense for their family’s needs. Last year, over 20 area schools attended, including members from charter, public and private schools.

If you are interested in volunteering for this event, please contact hfaschools@gmail.com. For more information, visit www.hobokenfamily.com.

Got Hurricane Sandy stories and photos to share?

Do you have an untold Sandy story or an interesting photo? We’d like to hear from you!

We’ll be compiling the tales in an upcoming edition. Just tell us an anecdote or explain how you survived. We want to hear our neighbors’ stories.

Send us your story in 300 words or less in the body of an email. To submit photos, attach up to three photos per email as .jpg attachments.

Put “Hoboken Sandy stories” in the subject head and email to editorial@Hudsonreporter.com by Oct. 15.

They don’t have to be heroic or earth-shattering stories; we just want to know what you did during the storm, or anything else of note. We will use the most relevant ones in our publication in late October.

Help foster children by attending CASA information session Oct. 8

Are you interested in helping children in the foster care system? If so, Hudson County CASA (court appointed special advocate) is recruiting volunteers to advocate for the best interests of abused and neglected children.

An information session to learn more about the program and the role of its volunteers will be held on Tuesday, Oct. 8 from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. in Room #400 of the Hudson County Administration Building at 595 Newark Avenue in Jersey City.

CASA works through trained community volunteers to ensure that needed services and assistance are made available to children while helping to move them toward safe and permanent homes.

CASA and its volunteers speak for children in court, serve as fact finders for judges, and safeguard the interests of the children while they are in the foster care system.

Hudson County has nearly 700 children in foster care; most have been removed from their homes for abuse or neglect.

For more information, call (201) 795-9855, e-mail mgarcia@hudsoncountycasa.org, or visit www.hudsoncountycasa.org.

Animal League holds wine tasting fundraiser

The Hudson County Animal League is inviting everyone to help them celebrate their 20th Anniversary of saving the lives of homeless and abused animals through a wine tasting event sponsored by Bridgeview Liquors of Bayonne.

The wine tasting will be held on Nov. 9, from 4 to 6 p.m., at the Bayonne Museum, 8th Street and Broadway in Bayonne.

Tickets, at $15, can be purchased in advance by contacting Barbara at bdevaney3@verizon.net or (201) 436-1848. You can also pay through PayPal by visiting the group’s “Donate” page. Tickets, at $20, can also be purchased the day of the event.

You can also help the Hudson County Animal League with the cost of caring for homeless felines by clipping cat food and litter coupons. Send them to P.O. Box 4332, Bayonne, NJ 07002 or P.O. Box 3589 Jersey City, NJ 07303.

People are being sought to foster an animal until their permanent home is found. For more information on this, call Kathleen at (201) 895-3874 or Charlene at (201) 200-1008.

Youth group members are also being sought. If interested in completing 20 hours of volunteering, contact Lorma at (201) 437-7263. Adults can call the same number to volunteer.

Hoboken Grace organizes “1 day to make Hoboken better” event

Volunteers from Hoboken and the surrounding community were scheduled to do various projects including cleaning up the waterfront, tree wells, and local parks and playgrounds this Saturday. These tasks are part of Hoboken Grace Community Church’s “1Day Hoboken - Making Hoboken Better!” event. Hoboken Grace invites all of Hoboken to join together to serve the community.

Saturday, September 28, at 10 a.m., volunteers are scheduled to come together at Church Square Park and then spread out throughout Hoboken to spend a few hours working on projects for various organizations serving our city. Then at 1:30 p.m., after the completion of the projects, the volunteers will come back together for an after-party at the Turtle Club in Hoboken to celebrate what was accomplished in just one day.

Volunteers will work in small groups, cleaning public spaces, organizing the food pantry, clearing driftwood, planting flowers and more. Hundreds of volunteers are needed and can sign up at www.1DayHoboken.com or visit Church Square Park that Saturday morning at 10 a.m.

“Hundreds of people served over the last three years and we are expecting a large turnout again this year,” says Chris High, Pastor of Hoboken Grace. “God calls us to serve others. It is essential to Hoboken Grace’s mission. We are excited about making an impact on our community.”

This year, Hoboken Grace and the Hoboken community will partner to serve the Hoboken Housing Authority, The Boys and Girls Club, HoLa Hoboken Dual Language Charter School, Shade Tree Commission, Hoboken Parks and Recreation, Hoboken Shelter, In Jesus Name Charities, Hoboken Library and HOPES.

“Every year 1Day has been able give people a chance to work alongside each other and make our community better,” says Rachel Norris, Connection Director at Hoboken Grace. “It is amazing to see what can be done in just one day!”

To participate in 1Day, sign up at www.1DayHoboken.com or meet up Sept. 28 at Church Square Park at 10 a.m.

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