Oct 14, 2012 | 3689 views | 0 0 comments | 12 12 recommendations | email to a friend | print
35 YEARS YOUNG – This month the Kennedy Dancers dance company will celebrate its 35 anniversary. (See brief)
35 YEARS YOUNG – This month the Kennedy Dancers dance company will celebrate its 35 anniversary. (See brief)

Former police chief joins Fulop slate

As Jersey City Mayor Jerramiah T. Healy and his challenger, Ward E City Councilman Steven Fulop, gear up for the May 2013 mayoral election, the two are beginning to make some major decisions regarding their campaigns.

Fulop has not made any recent announcements regarding his ticket, but he has apparently selected former Police Chief Frank Gajewski to be his City Council candidate for Ward A.

Gajewski joins Ward E candidate Candace Osborne and At-large candidate Rolando Lavarro Jr. as announced candidates on the Fulop ticket.

Lavarro is already an at-large councilman who joined City Council last year after a special election. In 2013, Lavarro will run for his first full term on the council.

This year a number of high profile crimes have made crime a top issue among many residents and voters (See story, p. 3). Given the debate around crime, it is not surprising that Fulop would add a police professional to his ticket.

If elected, the Fulop campaign said, Gajewski will offer perspective as a lifetime city resident and decorated undercover cop. According to the campaign, Gajewski is widely regarded for running the Jersey City Police Department with honesty, integrity, and humility until he retired in 2001.

“Frank’s commitment to Jersey City is unwavering; he will do what it takes to make this City safe and affordable,” Fulop said. “Frank has made a career out of protecting and serving the people of Jersey City. Now he wants to take his love for the city to the next level, making sure our first responders are equipped with the best equipment and training to keep our families safe.”

Earlier this year, incumbent Ward B City Councilman David Donnelly was also announced as part of the Fulop slate. Since then, however, Donnelly – who has been in poor health – has decided not to seek reelection. Fulop has yet to select a replacement candidate for Ward B.

In it unclear at this time whether Michael Sottolano, the current Ward A councilman, will run for reelection and, if he does, whether he will run with Healy. Thus far, Healy has announced only one candidate for his 2013 slate, Daniel Levin who is running with Healy in Ward E (see cover story).

Council, school board to revisit pay to play

Later this month the City Council is expected to tighten loopholes in the city’s current pay to play law. The changes, which were suggested last week by activist and possible Ward B City Council candidate Esther Wintner, would extend the current law to prohibit the awarding of city contracts to businesses and other entities that donate to Board of Education candidates.

The Board of Education is currently weighing a similar proposal that would ban the awarding of school district contracts to entities that contribute to City Council and mayoral candidates.

Pay to play laws forbid campaign donors from getting contracts with a government body within a certain period of time after donating. This cuts down on the possibility of donating to a candidate specifically for the purpose of getting a contract.

Some parents have called for stricter guidelines regarding school board contracts for campaign contributors in recent months.

Ward E Councilman and mayoral candidate Steven Fulop, whose own campaign contributions have come under scrutiny recently, said last week that he supports both efforts – and believes that they can go even further than what some parents and activists have suggested.

Fulop sponsored and advocated for the city’s current pay to play law.

Fulop, Ward F City Councilwoman Michele Massey, and Council President Peter Brennan said last week they would work together to try to have an amendment drafted in time for the Oct. 24 council meeting.

Kennedy Dancers to celebrate milestone

On Thursday, Oct. 18 the Kennedy Dancers dance company will celebrate its 35th anniversary with a 6:30 p.m. performance.

The evening will pay homage to the company’s legacy as a major arts institution in Jersey City. The celebration, which will be held at the Landmark Loew’s Jersey Theater, will include special guest appearance from Wendi Williams, Mike Tyson, and other celebrities.

Tickets can be purchased at the Kennedy Dancers dance studio, 79 Central Ave. Advance tickets are $50. Tickets purchased at the door on the night of the performance are $60. For more information, call (201) 659-2190 or visit

Assemblyman hosts ‘take your daddy to the doctor’ event to promote health awareness among men

Noting the reluctance of many men to get regular medical check-ups, Assemblyman Charles Mainor (D-31st Dist.) is inviting fathers and their children to attend “Take Your Daddy to the Doctor,” an event geared at promoting better health maintenance among men.

“Many men will complain about an ailment, but refuse to go to the doctor. Whether machismo or stubbornness is to blame, we owe it to ourselves and our families to stay healthy,” said Mainor.

The event, sponsored by Assemblyman Mainor, the Jersey City Medical Center, the NAACP and the Urban League of Hudson County, will provide free medical check-ups to all dads accompanied by a child. The check-ups will be conducted by Jersey City Medical Center staff members.

The event will be held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 20 at the Mary Bethune Center Parking Lot (across the street from the Mary Bethune Center), 140 Martin Luther King, Dr., Jersey City. There will be mobile arcade games to entertain the kids while their dads get their check-ups.

For more information, call or email Mainor’s office at (201) 536-7851 or

Fall harvest celebration in Newport

For the 14th year in a row, Stevens Cooperative School in Newport will host its annual Harvest Festival on Sunday, Oct. 21. The free community event will take place from 11 a.m. until 4 p.m. at 100 River Dr. near Morton Williams. Stevens invites everyone to celebrate the season with family, friends and neighbors. Residents can decorate pumpkins, compete in a cake walk and listen to live music while sipping hot apple cider and eating fall favorites. This event is sponsored by Morton Williams, 14th Street Garden Center, Amelia’s Bistro, Boca Grande, Cocoa Bakery, Kobrick’s Coffee Company, NYC BEC LLC, and Roman Nose.

Michael Anthony’s to host fundraiser for kids with cancer

On Thursday, Oct. 25 at 7 p.m. Michael Anthony’s will host a $100 per person fundraiser for the Frances Pope Foundation, which assists children with cancer and their families.

Tickets can be purchased through

Entertainment for the evening will include the Eamonn Ryan Show Band and there will be raffles and door prizes as well. Michael Anthony’s is located at 502 Washington St. For more information, call (866) 635-0853.

Jersey City Medical Center to host community meeting

Jersey City Medical Center will host its annual meeting for the community on Thursday, October 25 from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. in the auditorium at the Jersey City Museum, 350 Montgomery Street.

“This will be an opportunity for people who live and work in the area to get a closer look at Jersey City Medical Center and how we serve the community,” said Joseph F. Scott, president and CEO of Jersey City Medical Center. “It will be a chance for those in attendance to hear more about our four pillars – patient safety, satisfaction/ engagement, clinical quality and financial viability – and what the hospital has done to ‘enhance life’ for them and their families, and what they can expect to see in terms of services and programs in the year ahead.”

According to Scott, 2012 has been a significant year for Jersey City Medical Center. At a time when the challenges for nonprofit hospitals are increasing, Jersey City Medical Center has been able to expand its services. For the first time, “US News & World Report” selected it as one of the country’s best regional hospitals, and the Leapfrog Group gave it an “A” rating.

New services included the addition of an electrophysiology lab, an expanded NICU unit, and a new rheumatology center. The hospital also opened an urgent care center in Hoboken that now includes evening hours, purchased the Jersey City Museum, and announced plans for increased outpatient services.

Attendees at the community meeting will have the opportunity to enjoy a light dinner, watch videos on the hospital’s “enhancing life” campaign and its Cristie Kerr Breast Center, meet members of the Board of Trustees and hospital leaders, and participate interactively in discussions about the hospital’s programs and services.

There is no cost to attend the meeting. To RSVP, call Anne McGree at 201) 377-6057. For more information, visit

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