American Dream developers debate traffic numbers with Giants/Jets
During a hearing before the New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority (NJSEA) committee at the Meadowlands Racetrack on Wednesday, the Giants and Jets and the developers of the Meadowlands American Dream project (the proposed entertainment/shopping complex off Route 3) debated traffic projections for the area based on plans by the developer to add an amusement and water park, according to news reports.
The hearing precedes a vote by the NJSEA board on the American Dream plan, which could come later this month, according to The Record.
Developers of the $3.7 billion American Dream project, formerly Xanadu, have proposed expansion plans to add indoor water and amusement parks. The groups debated how much traffic the additional attractions would generate on Sundays during football games.
According to The Record, each described the other side’s scenario as “absurd.”
“Sixty-three additional cars — really?” Giants co-owner John Mara is quoted as asking the developer who projected the added attractions would generate 63 additional cars from 4:15 to 5:15 p.m. when fans typically leave a Sunday football game. “Do you really believe that? Use your common sense.”
The NFL teams anticipate that 7,700 additional cars will be added to the traffic mix during that time.
The professional sports teams sued the developer in June to prevent the developer Triple Five from reviving the project, which has been stalled since 2009 due to financial woes. The lawsuit said Triple Five did not receive their consent to expand the project, and also cited traffic impacts.
A Superior Court Judge in August dismissed the lawsuit, stating it was premature but that the teams can go back to court once the NJSEA approval process is complete.
Meanwhile, during a gathering of union members in Perth Amboy on Oct. 3, Gov. Chris Christie spoke out against the owners of the New York Giants and Jets for standing in the way of the American Dream project.
“I will not put up with billionaire team owners for the Jets and Giants standing in the way of building the American Dream and stopping you guys from working,” said Christie to Ironworkers Local No. 373 in a town hall style meeting, according to NJ.com.
Councilman McKeever joins Pascrell for 14th Annual Veterans Resource Fair
U.S. Rep. Bill Pascrell, Jr. (D-8th Dist.), a veteran of the U.S. Army and Army Reserve, was joined on Oct. 4 by special guest Lt. Col. (ret) Joseph Bucco of the New Jersey Department of Military and Veterans Affairs, as well as Secaucus Councilmember and Vietnam veteran William McKeever, veterans from throughout northern New Jersey, and various service providers for the Congressman’s 14th Annual Veterans Resource Fair. It took place at the Haledon Boys and Girls Club.
Various government agencies were on hand, including the New Jersey Department of Military and Veterans Affairs (VA). VA Medical staff were also on hand to take blood pressure readings and give flu shots free of charge.
McKeever expressed the importance of holding events like this for veterans.
“Our primary concern is our older veterans,” said McKeever. “It’s critical that we make veterans aware of the benefits they are entitled to, including transportation to VA facilities.”
“When I first arrived in Washington, I made it a priority to enact legislation that would require the VA to inform all veterans of the benefits they earned,” said Pascrell, who authored the Veterans Right to Know Act which was signed into law in 2001. “During my 15 years in Congress, I have fought to ensure that veterans in Northern New Jersey and throughout the nation receive the benefits they were promised and deserve.”
Gonnelli, Panasonic receive awards from Hackensack Riverkeeper; Organization celebrates 15 years
Mayor Michael Gonnelli and Panasonic Corporation of North America on Oct. 4 were honored by the nonprofit Hackensack Riverkeeper organization at its Annual Awards Dinner & Sustainable SeafoodFest held in Hasbrouck Heights. Over 200 people joined Captain Bill Sheehan and crew to celebrate 15 years’ worth of achievements, honor the work of friends, and recommit to making the Hackensack River a “fishable and swimmable” river, as the Clean Water Act says it should be, according to a press statement.
“During the course of the year I may receive the lion’s share of media attention but tonight is about people like Mike and the folks at Panasonic who give the extra efforts to help us in our mission,” said Sheehan. “I didn’t build Hackensack Riverkeeper alone, and it doesn’t stand alone. It stands and succeeds because they – like so many others – stand with us.”
Each year’s event singles out and honors individuals and institutions that have assisted Hackensack Riverkeeper in its mission to protect, preserve and restore the Hackensack River. Gonnelli received the “Excellence in Public Service Award,” in recognition for his many years of public service including his longstanding support of wetlands and open space protection, especially Mill Creek Point Park.
Panasonic Corporation of North America received the “Corporate Environmental Stewardship Award” for its role as an environmentally responsible corporate citizen, both globally and locally, including longstanding participation in Riverkeeper’s Corporate River Stewardship Program. In addition to sending hundreds of employee volunteers to river cleanups, the company is currently moving out of Secaucus and building a new, LEED-certified corporate headquarters in Newark.
Founded in 1997 by Captain Bill Sheehan, Hackensack Riverkeeper is the leading environmental organization working on Hackensack River issues. It is the independent voice of the river and the citizen steward of its 210 square-mile watershed. Hackensack Riverkeeper is a founding member of the Waterkeeper Alliance, an international association of over 200 clean water advocates.
Learning about how to grow a business
Bergen and Hudson County Rotary Clubs will host a Meadowlands Business Symposium at La Reggia in Secaucus on Oct. 23 from 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Guest speakers Bette Spinelli, executive director for the Hudson County Economic Development Corporation, will highlight initiatives to assist small businesses; Jim Kirkos, president and CEO of the Meadowlands Regional Chamber, will outline business opportunities for upcoming major events and Super Bowl 2014; Jeffrey Alper of Strategic Employee Benefit Services will address how future changes in health insurance will affect your business; Rotary District Governor Bonnie Sirower will highlight the community service nature of Rotary and why Bergen and Hudson County business leaders are active members. Buffet Luncheon costs $25. To register contact: Secaucus Rotary member Diane Rich at: (201) 867-2287.