Arts & Music Fest today (Sunday, May 2)
The city is providing a free shuttle bus for the Arts & Music Festival today (Sunday, May 2), especially for senior-housing tenants and Housing Authority residents.
The festival runs from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. and shuttle service will run continuously during those times, with a one-hour lunch break for the driver.
The stop locations are 220 Adams St., 221 Jackson St., corner of Fifth and Jackson streets, 501 Madison St., corner of Ninth and Clinton streets, Fox Hill Gardens, and First and Garden streets.
The festival will provide scores of vendors, as well as musical concerts (headlined by Fountains of Wayne), food, and kids’ events.
Sponsors include the Hoboken Reporter, Optimum, WRXP, WFMU, PATH, and Port Authority of NY & NJ.
To check the festival schedule. For more information, call 201-420-2207.
Councilman Bhalla’s ethics again under question
Councilman-at-Large Ravi Bhalla was under fire again last week after the Newark Star-Ledger reported that Bhalla gave $2,500 in political contributions to a political action committee (PAC) linked with Newark Mayor Cory Booker. Bhalla along with nine other vendors in the city of Newark contributed to the PAC “Empower Newark” before accepting millions of dollars in city contracts.
The day after Bhalla contributed to the PAC, he was given a $60,000 no-bid legal contract by the city that was eventually renewed for an additional $60,000, according to the story.
Although the PAC did not contribute to Booker directly, it did support school board candidates whom Booker was backing.
While the contribution and subsequent contract do not legally violate “pay-to-play” regulations in Newark, they do violate the spirit of the law, according to several citizen groups.
A representative for the Hoboken-based People for Open Government calls the situation “extremely distressing” in a letter to the editor this weekend.
Pay-to-play regulations are adopted locally to restrict government officials from trading campaign donations for lucrative city contracts. Both Hoboken and Newark have pay-to-play regulations. There is also a vaguer state law.
One community group in Newark is calling for Booker to tighten the law to restrict this type of circumvention.
Bhalla said last week that he did not violate the law, nor did he do anything to violate the spirit of the law, in his opinion. He said his relationship with Booker has been strong for years and that he contributed to Booker’s campaign directly within the limits of the pay-to-play regulations. Bhalla maintained that neither his contribution to the PAC, nor his direct contributions to Booker, had anything to do with his being awarded the legal contract.
Earlier this year, in Hoboken, Bhalla was accused of ignoring a conflict of interest when he voted to approve a city legal contract for attorney Paul Condon, who shares an office and a secretary with Bhalla. The city’s lawyer has deemed that the situation did not constitute a legal conflict.
Hoboken hospital approves break-even budget
Hoboken University Medical Center CEO Spiros Hatiras has made good on his promise to deliver a break-even budget for the struggling hospital.
HUMC’s $138 million budget represents a reduction of 12 percent over last year’s budget, according to a statement released last week. The budget does not project a loss for the hospital in the coming year.
In a statement included in the budget documents, Mayor Dawn Zimmer called the budget “another step in putting the hospital on the path to privatization.”
Zimmer has supported selling the hospital to a private company that will run it and keep it as a hospital.
Another step on that path was to recently hire special legal counsel to investigate “opportunities” for the hospital. Three weeks ago, the hospital board hired the Roseland-based law firm Lowenstein Sandler to fill that role.
Parking may be lost on Hudson Street
Due to potential liability concerns, parking along Hudson Street between Second and Fourth streets will change from angled to parallel parking, as it was approximately 10 years ago, according to a city spokesperson.
Hudson County began their road resurfacing program in mid-April, including this portion of Hudson Street.
A memo from Transportation and Parking Director Ian Sacs to Mayor Dawn Zimmer says, “The angled parking configuration conflicts with county, state, and national roadway design guideline criteria” and does not provide sufficient width “to safely accommodate through vehicles. Due to this condition, Hudson County would not recommend returning to angled parking.”
Because of the liability concerns, Sacs recommended “returning the street to the original parallel parking configuration on both sides.”
All members of the City Council Transportation and Parking subcommittee have been briefed on the issue and are in agreement with the recommendation, according to the city.
According to a city representative, Sacs has not yet determined how many parking spaces will be lost from the street due to the conversion.
Citywide yard sale
Hoboken is planning its first “citywide yard sale” for Saturday, May 15. Any home or building in the city can have a yard sale that day, and if they let the city know, the city will put it on a master list for flyers and a map that will be distributed throughout town. This way, buyers know where to stop and shop.
There is a voluntary suggested donation of $10 per household or $25 for a group of households planning one together.
Condo residences must get permission from their homeowner’s association before registering. Everyone must keep their sidewalks safe, and clean up after the sale.
The hours are 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., and the rain date is Sunday, May 16.
There is a form to fill out to participate, which may be mailed to City Hall. For more information, call the Department of Cultural Affairs at (201) 420-2207 or visit the city website at www.hobokennj.org.
Man with gray van allegedly tries to entice child
A student reported to Hoboken police on Monday that when walking home uptown on Park Avenue, a man in a gray van allegedly tried to get the student to enter his vehicle with “an offer of candy and an opportunity to play with his dog,” according to a memo sent to parents on Tuesday at Wallace Elementary School by Principal Charles Tortorella.
According to the memo, police are investigating and have increased patrols in the area. Also, teachers were asked to speak to their students about walking in groups and not talking to strangers.
‘Ernest’ musical comes to Hudson School
O n Friday and Saturday, May 14 and 15 at 8 p.m., and on Sunday, May 16 at 6 p.m., Hudson Productions will present “Ernest in Love,” a musical comedy based on Oscar Wilde’s “The Importance of Being Earnest,” at the Hudson School Performance Space, 601 Park Ave.
Price of admission is $15 for adults and $10 for students and seniors. To reserve tickets, please call (201) 659-8335, ext. 317.
The comedy of jumbled identities and thwarted romance intersperses Wilde’s witty dialogue with entertaining songs and dances, and features the talents of Hudson School students under the direction of Hoboken residents Anne-Marie Marcazzo and Hudson alumnus Gabe Hernandez. Book and lyrics are by Anne Croswell and music was composed by Lee Pockriss.
The dazzled lovers are portrayed by Evan Dibbs, Stella Porter, Lucinda Mandel, and Robert Stark of Hoboken.
Macy’s fireworks will return to the Hudson
For the second year in a row, Hudson County’s waterfront cities will once again be treated to a front row seat to this year’s Macy’s 4th of July Fireworks. The show is returning to the Hudson River this July 4.
The colorful explosions will be fired off from six barges in the Hudson River located between the area of 24th St. and 50th St. in Manhattan.
The 34th annual Macy’s fireworks display will begin at approximately 9:20 p.m. on July 4. Additional information about the show will be released after June 1, Macy’s says. Macy’s has a fireworks hotline at (212) 494-4495.
On Sunday, May 16, the Hoboken Harriers Running Club (or HOHA) and All Saints Community Development Corporation will hold the 12th annual HOHA Classic 5-Mile Race, starting at 10 a.m. at Pier A Park, one block north of the PATH station. A shorter, 1-mile Fun Run for children will be held at 9:30 a.m.
Proceeds from the race will benefit the Jubilee Family Life Center, a non-denominational community center in Hoboken that provides after school youth programs for Hoboken’s needy.
Advance registration is $20, and race day registration is $25; the fun run is $5. Advance registration is available on the Internet, through a link at www.hoha.net, or you may complete and submit an application through the mail if postmarked by May 11. Applications can be obtained at Fleet Feet running store, located at 604 Washington St. For more information, visit www.hoha.net.
Our publication incorrectly identified the winner of the “Best Single Ad Any Size, Multi-Spot or Full,” created for Bayonne Medical Center by The Hudson Reporter. The award winning ad, “David vs Goliath,” was in fact designed by Spot On! Creative Group LLC. of Montclair, N.J. We apologize for any confusion and congratulate Spot On! Creative Group on their campaign.
“We appreciate the honor and are proud of our team for conceiving and producing this compelling ad,” said Kevin Riedy, partner and creative director.