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A VICTORY – Advocates opposed to the removal of the Katyn Memorial from Exchange Place celebrated their success after they obtained enough valid signatures to force the city to either back off its plan to move the statue or let voters decide through a referendum in November.
A VICTORY – Advocates opposed to the removal of the Katyn Memorial from Exchange Place celebrated their success after they obtained enough valid signatures to force the city to either back off its plan to move the statue or let voters decide through a referendum in November.
Katyn Memorial victory may be short-lived

While advocates successfully collected enough signatures to force the City Council to reconsider an ordinance that would move the Katyn Memorial from its current location at Exchange Place to nearby York Street, the victory may be a short one.

The petition will require the council to either rescind an ordinance passed earlier this summer or have the question go on the November ballot for voters to decide.

The council is expected to rescind the ordinance at its Sept. 12 meeting. But this may not stop the city from moving the statue to make way for new drive-up facilities for the newly-opened Hyatt Hotel located there.

Because the original ordinance authorizing the statue to be installed located it elsewhere on Montgomery Street, the city is expected to argue in court that it has the legal authority to move the statue, avoiding the matter being voted on by the public.

City Council balks at department head raises

Saying that Mayor Steven Fulop is holding pay raises for aides to council members hostage in exchange for raises for city department heads, members of the council have asked for two ordinances which will allow them to vote raises for each group up or down.

Fulop has proposed setting annual salaries for all department heads at $150,000 uniformly in order to keep them from seeking jobs elsewhere. But Councilman Michael Yun among others said this “one size fits all” approach is not fair. He said administrators who run larger departments with more responsibilities should not be paid the same as those who run smaller departments.

In a rare show of unified opposition to the mayor, the council members also opposed Fulop’s lumping council aides’ salaries in the same ordinance with the department heads measure. The council has been seeking pay raises for their aides for several years, saying they are paid under the minimum wage. Raises for council aides requires state approval, which the mayor has not applied for.

Council members said the issues should be separate, and that the mayor should not be forcing the council to approve department head raises in order to also get raises for low-paid aides.

The matter will be reconsidered at the Sept. 12 meeting.

JC man charged in Forrest Street homicide

Ishmeal L. Coleman, 41, of Jersey City, has been charged with murder on Aug. 13 in connection with the death of Takeela Wilson, 38, also of Jersey City, according to Hudson County Prosecutor Esther Suarez.

Members of the Hudson County Prosecutor’s Office Homicide Unit arrested Coleman in the area of Van Horne Street in Jersey City.

On Aug. 12 at approximately 4:30 p.m., Jersey City police officers responded to a report of an injured female at 391 Forrest St. in Jersey City. Upon arrival, responding officers found an unresponsive female victim identified as Wilson, who lived at that address. Wilson suffered an apparent stab wound to her torso and was pronounced dead at the scene at approximately 4:35 p.m.

The Regional Medical Examiner’s Office determined the cause of death to be a stab wound to the chest.

Proposed development for LSP raises concerns

Friends of Liberty State Park are concerned about a race track proposed for adjacent to the park and the lack of intervention by Gov. Phil Murphy to block it.

Like a classic horror movie in which the threat keeps coming to life after it is thought to have been avoided, friends of the park have been battling threat after threat, including potential development hotel and other facilities proposed under GOP Gov. Christopher Christie, and later, the construction of a luxury marina for the south end of the park.

A 2015 study done on behalf of Christie said the park has potential to generate revenue that would off-set the millions spent in upkeep.

The latest proposal would allow the park’s roadways to be used for auto racing.

Sam Pesin, president of the Friends of Liberty State Park, is trying to get state legislators to pass legislation that would end this proposal as well as other proposals that would alter the passive recreational uses at the park.

The current proposal for a Formula One racetrack would include grandstands for spectators as well as use of the fields for cricket matches. While most of this would be on privately-owned land bordering the park, the proposal needs to use about 20 acres of the park. In exchange the developers would pay for the environmental cleanup of 200 acres the state has failed to clean up and is currently fenced off for public use. The developers are also offering to allow the public to use the race facilities for charity and other events on days when races are not being conducted.

Bayfront advisory board established

In a move that has a huge potential for the development of a new Gold Coast along the west side of Jersey City, the City Council voted on Aug. 15 to establish a community advisory board to look at the 95-acre Bayfront redevelopment area.

In June, the council voted to have the city serve as the master developer for the property rather than sell the property to a large developer.

The advisory committee will allow community leaders to voice concerns about the redevelopment plan and the quality of life in areas near the site. The committee will have five members, one appointed by the mayor, two held by the council members of Ward A and Ward B, and the other two seats held by residents of the community.

Free educational program offered for relatives of the mentally ill

If you have a loved one living with a mental illness, you may benefit from the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) Family-to-Family free education program. Locally, the English-speaking program starts Sept. 18 and the Spanish-speaking program starts Sept. 24.

The classes consist of twelve 2.5-hour classes for families and caregivers of adult individuals living with a mental illness, with a focus on schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, clinical depression, panic disorder, and obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD).

The course will be given by family members of individuals with a mental illness that have been trained by NAMI as educators of the Family-to-Family Program.

To register for either program, contact Martha Silva at (201) 861-0614 or

The art of Serpieri coming to Scott Elder Gallery

In an exhibition called “Druuna Goes West,” the work of Paolo Eleuteri Serpieri will be on display at the Scott Elder Gallery from Aug. 31 to Oct. 13.

The show will feature published art from the volumes of Druuna Bible stories (including some graphic material) as well as sketches and unpublished pages.

Serpieri is known internationally for his erotic depictions of women as well as historical tales.

An opening reception will be held on Aug. 31 from 5 to 9 p.m. at 888 Newark Ave. in Jersey City.

For more information email

African American Cultural Arts Family Festival to be held on Sept. 8

In what has become an annual tradition as Berry Lane Park, the African American Cultural Arts Family Festival will be held on Sept. 8

The event celebrates the African Diaspora, which consists of the worldwide collection of communities descended from Africa’s peoples, predominantly in the Americas. Historically historians have used the term to refer to the descendants of the West and Central Africans who were enslaved and shipped to the Americas via the Atlantic slave trade between the 16th and 19th centuries, with their largest populations in Brazil, the United States, and Haiti.

The event will include a number of educational opportunities with appearances by Dr. Will Guzman, director of Africana Studies at New Jersey City University, religious leaders and others. But the event will also highlight the music, dance and other arts associated with African culture. The program starts at noon.

For more information, go to

Leonard Bernstein to be celebrated at concert

To mark the 100th birthday of one of America’s greatest composers and conductors, Summer Concerts on the Hudson will present “A Musical Tribute to Leonard Bernstein” on Monday, Aug. 27 at 7 p.m. This free concert will feature almost twenty singers, dancers, and musicians in an evening of instrumental and vocal music. The groundbreaking music from Bernstein’s Broadway shows, “On the Town,” “West Side Story,” and “Candide” will be highlighted, featuring piano-percussion duo Synchronicity, concert pianist and Hoboken resident Gleb Ivanov and a cast of Broadway performers.

Emmy winner Nancy Giles will emcee the evening.

These free concerts take place at Lincoln Harbor Park, just north of the Chart House restaurant on the Hudson River in Weehawken. Free parking is available and public transportation, including NJ Transit bus 158 from the Port Authority and Hudson Bergen Light Rail, will bring concertgoers to Lincoln Harbor. Please use 1700 Harbor Boulevard for GPS directions.

HRPAC’s concerts are family friendly and free of charge to the general public. Limited seating is available, however, audience members are asked to bring a lawn chair or blanket, if possible, and encouraged to picnic on the lawn.

For more information including the full summer concert schedule, directions, updates, and rain date info, please check the HRPAC website,, or call the concert info line at (201) 716-4540.

HCCC offers degree for addiction counseling

To help address a national and global issue, Hudson County Community College (HCCC) will offer a new Associate in Science (A.S.) degree program with a Human Services option in Addiction Counseling starting this September.

In the HCCC degree program, students will learn the skills needed to fulfill the educational requirements for becoming a Certified Alcohol and Drug Counselor (CADC). These include assessment, counseling, case management, client education, and professional responsibility. Students will also develop an understanding of addiction, gain knowledge of the fundamental effects of addiction on drug/alcohol users and their families, and learn the biophysical impact of substance abuse. While in the program, students can also begin to fulfill the 3,000 hours of related work experience required for certification.

After earning this degree, students may gain employment at substance abuse treatment facilities, including drug/alcohol treatment clinics, mental health centers, community health centers, prisons, and private practices. The HCCC program also prepares graduates to transfer to four-year institutions for baccalaureate degrees in Human Services/Social Work, or other related fields.

PGA Tour ends Aug. 26

The PGA Tour took place this week at the Ridgewood Country Club, hosted by The Northern Trust on from Aug. 21 to the 26. The Northern Trust is the first of four events in the FedExCup Playoffs.

The Ridgewood Country Club in Paramus is considered a great test of skill for the top 125 players from the 2017-2018 FedExCup regular season standings. This year marks the fourth time The Ridgewood Country Club has hosted The Northern Trust.

Since the tournament’s inception in 1967, it has generated more than $48 million for New York/New Jersey Metropolitan-area charities.

For more information please visit

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