Warehouse-sized liquor store has grand opening
The new Buy-Rite liquor store on Manila Avenue in Jersey City had its grand opening Monday morning, as shoppers stocked up on beer and wine for the Thanksgiving holiday.
The 60,000 square-foot space, located only blocks away from the Holland Tunnel in a building that was once a warehouse for stainless steel products, had a “soft opening” on Saturday Nov. 21. Then, it got an official welcome Monday from Mayor Jerramiah Healy and City Council President Peter Brennan.
The store is owned by Adithya Bhatena and Vinod Patel. Adithya’s father, Reddy Bhatena, is the head of the Monmouth Junction-based Buy-Rite franchise, which has 50 independently-owned stores in New Jersey. Bhatena said the property was acquired in August, followed by three months of renovations, turning it into what is believed to be one of the largest liquor stores in the state of New Jersey.
“I am happy that we have gotten positive feedback by customers about the store,” Bhatena said.
Brennan said he was “impressed” by Buy-Rite’s decision to invest in Jersey City and open a new store here.
Council says yes to contract for Vega donor
The City Council approved at its Tuesday meeting a contract with the engineering firm T&M Associates for $125,000 to help design and construct Marion Greenway Park, a 32.5-acre park to be located on the west side of Jersey City.
The resolution for the contract was tabled at the Nov. 10 City Council meeting after longtime resident John Seborowski pointed out that an employee of the firm had donated to City Councilman Mariano Vega’s re-election campaign earlier this year and wondered if it was in violation of the city’s contractor Pay-to-Play Ordinance. The ordinance bars anyone who is doing or wants to do business with the city from donating $300 to a candidate or $500 to a political party for one year before the start of a contract.
There was further discussion on the matter at Tuesday’s meeting. City Councilman Steven Fulop questioned Vega on the donation of $400 by the firm’s vice-president Dominic Carrino, which was made in October 2007, a year before the city’s pay-to-play law went into effect.
Fulop wanted Vega to clear up any confusion about the donation on his election donation report or Fulop would file a complaint with the state’s Election Law Commission. But he still voted in favor of the contract, in the end. It passed 7-1 with new councilman David Donnelly voting against it.
Activist group pickets Goldman Sachs JC headquarters
On Tuesday, members of New Jersey Citizen Action (NJCA) and community leadership representing labor and affiliate organizations held an informational picket at the Jersey City headquarters of Goldman Sachs on Hudson Street to demand that the bank put an end to multi-billion dollar bonuses, reject the Too Big To Fail Doctrine, and use their anticipated $23 billion bonus pool to help families facing foreclosure.
“Lloyd Blankfein [Goldman Sachs CEO] and Goldman Sachs have rightfully earned the leading role in the story of ‘all that is wrong with Wall Street,’” said Phyllis Salowe-Kaye, executive director of the New Jersey Citizen Action (NJCA). “Now is the time for them to start making amends for past transgressions. A good first step would include showing a little holiday spirit by directing a significant portion of their estimated $23 billion-dollar bonus pool to a fund to prevent foreclosure. It’s the least they could do.”
Tuesday’s picket was the latest in a series of country-wide mobilizations launched earlier this month when 5,000 taxpayers converged on the American Bankers Association convention in Chicago to demand that Wall Street and big banks stop fighting reforms, followed by an NJCA picketing of AIG in Jersey City earlier this month and a picket at the Goldman Sachs offices in Washington DC spearheaded by SEIU last week.
JC Museum holds Friday event
T he Jersey City Museum holds Target First Fridays at JCM on Friday, Dec. 4 from 5 to 8:30 p.m. The public can enjoy a glass of wine and light fare in the atrium, explore exhibitions and galleries, create Victorian-era crafts, and sample the museum’s special events.
Highlights include back-to-back programs in the Caroline L. Guarini Theater. At 6:30 p.m., Doris Caçoilo and Pollie Barden will lead “Twitter Love,” a fun and practical guide to “tweeting” and other social media. At 7:30 p.m., Jane Steuerwald and URBAN IMAGE will premiere Selected Shorts, a showcase of short films and video works by NJCU alumni. This event is part of JC FRIDAYS.
The museum is located at 350 Montgomery St. in downtown Jersey City. For more information, call (201) 413-0303 or visit www.jerseycitymuseum.org.
Library gives patrons fine amnesty
In mid-December, the Jersey City Free Public Library will offer a break in the form of Fine Amnesty to all Library users.
For only two weeks – Monday, Dec. 7 through Saturday, Dec. 12 and Monday, Dec. 14 through Saturday, Dec. 19 – all fees and fines will be forgiven when the library system receives all library books, CDs, DVDs, VHS tapes and other library materials.
“We recognize the money squeeze everyone is feeling these days, so we’ve created this two-week amnesty period for our loyal patrons to get some relief,” said Assistant Library Director Sonia Araujo, who is coordinating this effort.
Valid Jersey City library card users can take their library materials to all departments at the Main Library, and any of the 11 branches and the Bookmobile the weeks of Dec. 7 and Dec. 14 without being charged the appropriate fees and fines during Fine Amnesty weeks.
After those two amnesty weeks, the following Fines/Fees will be in effect beginning Monday, Jan. 4, 2010:
• Overdue books changes from $0.10 to $0.20
• Videos rental fees from $1.50 to $2.00, while late fees stay at $1.
• Educational videos are still free of charge
• Copies from $0.10 to $0.20
Youth Music Group Concert
Youth Music Group will present a winter concert, “ALL THAT JAZZ” performed by the Hudson County Intergenerational Community Band on Thursday, Dec. 3 at 7 p.m. at Jersey City Middle School No. 7, at 222 Laidlaw Ave. (between Kennedy Boulevard and Summit Avenue).
The concert will highlight a variety of jazz repertoire, including Dixieland, Ragtime, Swing, Latin and Contemporary, performed by a full concert band numbering over 45 players, and by smaller professional jazz ensembles. Featured on the program will be guest ensemble Jersey City Arts High School Jazz Band.
Admission is free with a suggested adult donation of $5 to help support this not-for-profit organization. This is a concert for people of all ages and a family friendly event. JC Middle School No. 7 is an accessible and barrier free facility with sight-enhanced programs provided upon request.
The Hudson County Intergenerational Community Band (HCIC Band) provides opportunities for junior and senior high school students from throughout Hudson County to play together in a performing instrumental ensemble. In this unique after school program, students are coached by and play alongside professional musicians from the Hudson County community in weekly rehearsals and in concert performances, learning valuable lessons in instrumental technique, music making and personal discipline.
For additional information on this event or about this organization, contact Beth Cohen at (201) 521-0345 or via email@example.com.