Area prepares for major storm
It’s being called the Perfect Storm by some meteorologists. Others have dubbed it “Frankenstorm” because the anticipated weather fright will hit Halloween week.
Whatever it’s called, if the worst case scenarios play out as they could, it will be a mess for residents up and down the East Coast, including people in the New York metro area which includes Hudson County.
Three storm systems are expected to converge in the Atlantic Ocean early this week and together they could wreak havoc on states from Virginia up to Ohio. The remnants of Hurricane Sandy are coming up from the south and could hit our area as a Tropical Storm. A cold air mass is barreling down from Canada in the north while a winter storm is brewing out west. If this unholy trinity meets, meteorologists predict we could be in for a windy wet mess that could leave $1 billion worth of its wake.
In preparation for the “Perfect Frankenstorm” (our name for it), municipalities throughout Hudson County are planning for heavy flooding, possible evacuations, shelter needs, and other emergency services. Most cities in Hudson County were still solidifying their plans at press time Friday. As a rule of thumb, most municipalities are urging residents to immediately sign up for their reverse 911 systems so they can be apprised of weather-related updates. Residents can sign up for these services by visiting their municipal websites.
In Hoboken, visit www.hobokennj.org/emergency. Residents may also sign up for non-emergency related alerts at www.hobokennj.org/alerts.
In Jersey City, sign up for the city’s C3 Alert system at https://jerseycitynj.my.gov-i.com/signup. Officials in both cities said late last week that they have cleaned out catch basins and are preparing shelters in case residents need to be evacuated from their homes. In the event of evacuations, Jersey City officials have already said there will be one pet-friendly shelter open at Pershing Field.
Residents who typically park in flood-prone areas are being asked to park elsewhere during the storm.
The town of Secaucus is instructing residents to follow developments on local cable Channel 36, or they can visit the town website www.secaucusnj.org for updates. Secaucus residents should listen for the town wide alert system located in the Plaza and on Koelle Boulevard, Laurel Hill, and Secaucus Road. In the event of an evacuation, Secaucus has already identified Huber Street School as the town’s designated shelter.
Secaucus residents can call their local Office of Emergency Management at (201) 864-1061 or call the Secaucus Police Department nonemergency number at (201) 330-2060.
Residents throughout Hudson County who have loose furniture or unsecured items outside their homes are urged to either take those items indoors or secure them with sturdy rope.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency recommends that families make sure they have evacuation plans in place and emergency items – such as flashlights, extra batteries, bottled water, nonperishable food, first aid kits, prescription medication, and battery operated radios – handy in case the area loses power.
Be sure to check on elderly neighbors and others who may have special needs in case they require assistance evacuating or getting help during the storm. Be particularly sure to remain in contact with relatives and neighbors who may not have access to the internet or social media and who may have difficulty getting timely updates regarding emergency alerts.
Oct. 31 hearing on plan to close centers for disabled
Several Jersey City residents attended the Oct. 24 City Council meeting to ask for support in helping to keep two developmental centers open, even though they have been slated for closure by the state.
In July, a task force put together by Gov. Christopher Christie recommended that two state-run developmental centers, Woodbridge Developmental Center and the North Jersey Developmental Center in Totowa, be closed to save money. The state’s seven developmental centers offer full-time care to the severely developmentally disabled.
The Woodbridge Developmental Center and the North Jersey Developmental Center collectively house about 700 clients, several of whom come from Jersey City, according to family members who spoke out at last week’s City Council meeting.
Under the recommendations of the task force, these centers would be closed over the next five years and the patients would be transitioned to community centers. But according to Joanne St. Amand, whose sister, Rosemary, is a resident of the Woodbridge Developmental Center and who spoke out at last week’s City Council meeting, this plan will mean disaster for many of the center’s patients.
“Rosemary is classified as profoundly disabled,” Amand told the council. “She cannot talk or walk. She cannot roll over by herself….She has to be lifted and carried from her bed, to her wheelchair, or to a bathing area…She has to be bathed and dressed. Rosemary cannot chew and is fed pureed food. She suffers from dysphasia and all of her liquids need to be thickened so she does not choke and aspirate her food.”
Rosemary, 57, who has lived at the developmental center for the last 37 years would likely not receive the highly specialized care she needs to live if she were moved to a group home environment, Amand stated.
This week, on Wednesday, Oct. 31 at 11 a.m. there will be a public hearing before State Sen. Joseph Vitale and State Assemblywoman Valerie Huttle at Montclair State University on the closure plan. The Hearing will take place at 1 Normal Ave., in Montclair. For more information on how to testify at the public hearing, contact Amand at firstname.lastname@example.org or call her at (908) 272-0399.
Amand and other family members have asked the Jersey City Council to pass a resolution asking the state to keep the Woodbridge Developmental Center and North Jersey Developmental Center open. Council members David Donnelly and Viola Richardson have agreed to follow up on this request.
‘Green’ flood mitigation solution introduced to Post Office
A 1,450 square foot rain garden was recently installed at a Ward F Post Office to manage stormwater runoff.
The United States Postal Service (USPS) worked with Chyun Associates and the Rutgers Cooperative Extension (RCE) Water Resources Program to install a 1,450 square foot rain garden at the upgraded customer entrance at the Bergen Station South Post Office located on Martin Luther King Jr. Drive. A rain garden is a garden specifically designed to soak up rainwater from rooftops, as well as runoff from driveways and patios. Rain gardens look like traditional flower gardens but they also function as a stormwater management practice. They are designed to intercept, treat, and infiltrate stormwater at the source, before it becomes runoff. Managing stormwater on the site helps to reduce flooding and combined sewer overflows. Plantings include species native to the region and help breakdown contaminants that could otherwise harm nearby waterways, such as the Newark Bay and Hackensack River.
The RCE Water Resources Program worked with Chyun Associates to convert the old concrete and brick customer entrance into a reconstructed customer entrance with a rain garden and shrub plantings. The rain garden captures rainwater running off the rooftop of the post office. Rain gardens allow 30 percent more water to soak into the ground compared to a regular lawn. The rain garden is planted with varieties of plants that are native to the region.
Funding for the construction of the new customer entrance and rain garden was provided by the USPS. J&J Landscaping was the landscaping subcontractor to Panfili Corp., a general contractor for USPS.
The rain garden is a practice recommended by Hudson County as a Sustainable Stormwater Management Strategy.
United Water closes Jersey City aqueduct for maintenance
United Water closed the Jersey City aqueduct last week and it will remain closed until approximately Tuesday, Nov. 20. During this period United Water customers in Jersey City and Hoboken will receive their water supply from the Passaic Valley Water Commission, the North Jersey District Water Supply, and the Newark Water Department.
United Water will inspect and perform maintenance on parts of the 100-year old tunnel system. In addition, maintenance and improvements will be made at the city’s water treatment plant in Boonton. “This work is part of routine maintenance that is typically performed every 2-3 years and will help us to ensure water quality and service reliability,” said John Hroncich, an operations manager for United Water in Jersey City.
The project, which was originally set to begin in earlier this month, was rescheduled while maintenance work was completed on an interconnection that will provide customers with an alternate water source while the aqueduct is shut down.
“We want to ensure that our customers have a reliable source of supply of water while we perform necessary maintenance,” said Hroncich. “In preparation for the inspection, a leak was discovered on the Newark Water Department pipeline which will be used to provide temporary water service to our customers. Now that Newark has repaired the leak, we can proceed.”
For more information about the shutdown, call the customer service center at (800) 575-4433 or visit www.unitedwater.com.
Jersey City, Hoboken attracting more residents. This is news to the NYT.
New York Times published an article on Oct.19 in which the paper reported that the neighborhoods around lower Manhattan have experienced great population growth in the years since the 9/11 tragedies, including Hoboken and the Newport, Jersey City Heights, and Grove Street communities in Jersey City.
The author writes:
Already, the number of creative and professional workers (in fields like advertising, media, arts, finance, insurance and real estate) in neighborhoods 30 minutes or less from downtown outnumber those workers who live on Long Island, in Westchester County and in other parts of the Hudson Valley and southern Connecticut, the analysis concluded.
The biggest gains among those workers were in two areas — the Newport-Grove Street-Jersey City Heights area on the New Jersey waterfront and Williamsburg and Greenpoint in Brooklyn, each of which had an increase of more than 10,000 residents.
Kristi Nowicki, an account executive at Aon Global Americas, moved to Hoboken a decade ago because of its proximity to work.
“I’ve gone through several cycles of life in Hoboken, single, married and now we have two children,” she said. “At each change in my life, my husband and I evaluated a move to the ‘burbs, but never wanted to do it.”
Adam Mietus, a risk officer at Morgan Stanley, also lives in Hoboken, where he moved in 2007 from Norwalk, Conn. “The move changed my commute from two hours to about 30 minutes,” he recalled. “My wife felt like a single parent before the move, and I was barely seeing my 3-year-old daughter during the week.”
The Renaissance that has been taking place in Hoboken and downtown Jersey City is, apparently, news to the Times.
The full story can be found www.nytimes.com/2012/10/20/nyregion/rebounding-from-9-11-lower-manhattan-sees-population-growth.html.
Temple Beth-El to host Ugandan leader
On Sunday, Nov. 4 from 10 a.m. until noon Temple Beth-El will host a talk by Ugandan Jewish leader Aaron Kintu Moses.
Moses is the leader of the 1,000 member Abayudaya Jewish community in Uganda. He is also the principle of a Jewish school, which includes some non-Jewish students.
Moses will discuss his community’s evolution and its struggle to maintain a Jewish identity in the face of persecution. He will also discuss his work to forge relationships with Ugandans of different faiths.
Coffee and refreshments will be served.
There is no admission fee for this event. Parking is available at the Bank of America, across the street from the temple. Temple Beth-El is located at 2419 Kennedy Blvd.
Attic Ensemble to perform ‘Rope’
Many people may be familiar with the Alfred Hitchcock-directed thriller “Rope” starring James Stewart. But did you know that Hitchcock’s 1948 movie was actually based on a 1929 play by Patrick Hamilton? The tension-filled script is one of several fictionalized reworkings of the real-life 1924 murder of Bobby Franks and the hands of Nathan Leopold and Richard Loeb.
In Hamilton’s version, two young men, Phillip Morgan and Brandon Shaw, kill an ex-classmate to see if they can plan and get away with the perfect murder. The victim’s body is stuffed into a wooden trunk that is later used as a table for a cocktail party thrown by Morgan and Shaw.
Do they get away with it? Check out the Attic Ensemble’s production to find out!
The play will run from Friday, Nov. 8 through Thursday, Nov. 15 in the Andrew C. Rhode Theater at Barrow Mansion, 83 Barrow St. Tickets are $20 for general admission and $15 for students and seniors.
Assisted listening devices will be available for the 7 p.m. performance on Thursday, Nov. 15. Call (201) 413-9200 at least one week in advance to reserve an assisted listening device.
This production, directed by Billy Mitchell, will feature actors Ginger Kipps, Frank Malvasi, Catriona Rubenis-Stevens, David Gazzo, Andrew Gelles, Ben Holmes, John L’Ecuyer, and Brian Laperche.
Tickets can be purchased through Brown Paper Tickets, at www.BrownPaperTickets.com/event/263112. For more information, call (201) 413-9200 or visit www.AtticEnsemble.org.
Entries being accepted for Black Maria Film Festival
The Media Arts Department at New Jersey City University is currently accepting entries for the upcoming Black Maria Film & Video Festival. The deadline for entries is Nov. 26.
Festival organizer are looking for short film or video works of up to 60 minutes that “explore or enrich any topic,” or that are unexpected, imaginative or that “expand the expressive possibilities of the” moving image medium in some way. All genres are welcome.
The top 45 to 60 films or videos submitted will be selected for inclusion into the festival’s 2013 tour of more than 50 colleges, museums, and libraries across the country.
Downloadable entry forms can be obtained through www.BlackMariaFilmFestival.org or online through Without a Box. There is a $35 application fee for works that are 29 minutes or less. Works that are between 29 and 60 minutes require an application fee of $45.
For more information, call (201) 200-2043 or visit www.BlackMariaFilmFestival.org.
Tanks, trash, and graffiti at the Majestic
The Majestic Theatre Condominium Association and Silverman development will exhibit the one-woman show “Tanks, Trash, and Graffiti,” by painter Valeri Larko from Thursday, Nov. 1, 2012 through Friday, Feb. 22, 2013. The exhibit will be on display in the condo lobby, at 222 Montgomery St.
An opening night reception with the artist will be held on Thursday, Nov. 1 from 6 to 8 p.m.
“Tanks, Trash, and Graffiti” was curated by Brendan Carroll.
On Feb. 25, 1938, Harry Barck, the reviled poormaster of Hoboken was killed with a spike through his heart. (Poormasters were, at the time government employees who administered welfare services to the poor and unemployed.) An unemployed mason by the name of Joe Scutellaro was seeking assistance in Barck’s office at the time and was accused of the murder. As the arrest and trial made front page news, the national spotlight turned to the plight of the ten million unemployed Americans living in the same desperate circumstances as Scutellaro (he had nine cents to his name at the time of arrest). Celebrated defense attorney Samuel Leibowitz, who had previously worked on the “Scottsboro boys” case, argued that the real culprit was not Scutellaro, but the dire state of the national economy and welfare system. The events depicted in Metz’s book capture the essence of Depression-era issues – poverty, the idea of the “unworthy poor,” corruption, a divided society of “haves” and “have nots,” and dissent – issues that remain in our current society.
The Main Branch is located at 472 Jersey Ave. Metz’s reading will take place in the Jersey Room on the library’s third floor. This reading is free and open to the public.