The Hudson County Chamber of Commerce will celebrate Hudson County’s growth and development over the past few years this week at its Annual Business Meeting on Thursday, Feb. 7. In addition to kicking off the year-long celebration of the chamber’s 125th anniversary, the meeting will also be marked by the inauguration of Daryl Harrison-Rand as the group’s newest chair. Rand, the chamber’s first female chair ever, is the president of HarrisonRand Advertising.
“As a third-generation advertising agency in Hudson County since 1941 and a woman born into a family that has been in the area since the 1890s, it is truly an honor to be elected,” said Harrison-Rand. “I am thrilled to see so much growth, optimism and camaraderie here. It is our time and the chamber is dedicated to making it happen.”
The meeting, which will be held at Puccini’s Restaurant in Jersey City, will be attended by more than 150 local entrepreneurs. Members of the chamber will elect its Board of Directors during the proceedings.
In addition to featuring exhibits by more than a dozen local businesses, Robert Cotter, planning director of Jersey City, will be the event’s key-note speaker as he discusses the rise of “Wall St. West.” The exhibit will showcase the rise of Jersey City’s development over the past few years.
“Jersey City has been the fastest growing city in New Jersey and we will highlight the economic engine it has truly become,” said Maria Nieves, the chamber’s president and CEO.
To reserve a spot at the Annual Business Meeting, please call (201) 386-0699 ext. 27 or visit the chamber’s website at www.hudsonchamber.org.
Former JC dynamic duo Richardson, Lopez announced on rival slates
As expected for weeks, Mayor Jerramiah T. Healy has announced that City Councilman At-large Viola Richardson will run on his reelection slate.
The move reunites former allies-turned-adversaries-turned-allies.
Prior to winning her current seat, Richardson served as the Ward F City Council representative for nearly a decade. After the resignation of At-large City Councilwoman Willie Flood in early 2011, Richardson, who had previously run with Healy, expressed an interest in Flood’s seat. Healy, however, appointed attorney Kalimah Ahmad to the seat, believing she had a better chance of keeping the at-large seat in the November 2011 special election.
Insulted, Richardson ran against Ahamd in the special election without Healy’s support and emerged as the top vote-getter in the election.
Once taking office, Richardson and then-ally Nidia Lopez, the Ward C City Councilwoman, mounted an unsuccessful effort to replace longtime Healy ally Peter Brennan as Council President. Had this effort been successful, Richardson would have replaced Brennan as the council leader.
For a time Richardson appeared to be moving closer to Healy nemesis, City Councilman Steven Fulop, who is running for mayor against Healy in the upcoming May election. In recent months, however, Richardson has been voting more consistently with the Healy administration, leading to speculation that she would run for reelection on the mayor’s ticket.
“Viola Richardson and I share the same motivations in all that we do – namely, always doing what’s best for Jersey City’s families and our community,” Healy said Tuesday in a prepared statement. “Councilwoman Richardson is a strong, independent voice, and I’m proud of all the work we’ve accomplished together to move our city forward.”“Just like Mayor Healy, I’m driven to always do what’s best for the residents of Jersey City and those who work here,” said Richardson. “And together, we’ll continue to work hard to make Jersey City a better place for all.”
Richardson joins Healy’s previously announced council candidates: Council President Peter Brennan (at-large); Democratic Committeeman Omar Perez (at-large); former Jersey City Schools Superintendent Dr. Charles Epps (Ward A); and community activists Jerry Meyers (Ward B), Janet Chevres (Ward C), and Dan Levin (Ward E).
Healy has yet to announce a candidate for ward D.
Ironically, two of Richardson’s former allies are now on Fulop’s slate.
At-large City Councilman Rolando Lavarro Jr., who ran in the 2011 special election bracketed with Richardson is running for a full-term with Fulop. Shortly after Healy announced that Richardson had joined his slate Fulop announced that Lopez will be his Ward C candidate. – E. Assata Wright
Pavonia branch of library to reopen a week earlier than planned
The Pavonia branch of the Jersey City Library at 326 Eighth St. will reopen on Feb. 11, a week earlier than planned.
Louis Gargiulo Co., Inc. of Jersey City brought the branch back to its original form. Pavonia has been closed since Wednesday, Oct. 17, 2012, due to a water heater burst in the condo unit above the branch library. The remedial costs of all flooding and water damages caused by the heater burst were handled by the tenant.
“After going through so much water damage – with this unforeseen problem at Pavonia and then, Hurricane Sandy at the main – we are so pleased to bring the Pavonia Branch back to its patrons,” said Library Director Priscilla Gardner.
For the latest on programs, events, and special announcements, follow the Library on Facebook or Twitter at Jersey City Free Public Library or check out www.jclibrary.org.
Ramos calls for Pulaski Skyway hearings
Assemblyman Ruben Ramos, Jr. sent a letter earlier today to Assembly Transportation Committee Chairman John Wisniewski, urging the Chairman to consider holding a special hearing in Hudson County regarding the proposed closure of the Pulaski Skyway. Assemblyman Ramos is a member of the Assembly Transportation, Public Works and Independent Authorities Committee.
"The Pulaski Skyway is one of the main arterial roads in this region" said Ramos. “My constituents that currently rely on the Pulaski Skyway to commute to work will be left with very few alternatives.”
The NJ Department of Transportation recently announced a temporary closure of the northbound lanes of the Pulaski Skyway in order to resurface the roads, rehabilitate the deck, and undertake several other repairs to the aging overpass.
“Anybody who has travelled on the Skyway recently knows that the bridge is long overdue for a resurfacing and needs significant rehabilitative work,” added Ramos, “but complete closure without providing an alternative for people to enter Hudson County will have a negative economic impact on County businesses and residents."
"Many of my constituents in the 33rd Legislative District have voiced strong concerns about the effect that the closure will have upon their commutes or the ability of their customers or clients to reach their businesses,” Ramos concluded. “We need to seriously consider alternatives to complete closure.”
Assemblyman Ramos represents the 33rd Legislative District, which includes Hoboken, Union City, Weehawken, and parts of Jersey City and chairs the Assembly Regulatory Oversight and Gaming Committee and is a member of the Assembly Transportation and Environment & Solid Waste Committees.