Monarch development proposal to be heard before local Planning Board
The controversial Monarch at Shipyard development proposal for uptown Hoboken will be heard before the local Planning Board on March 6 at 7 p.m.
Ironstate Development wants to erect two 11-story residential buildings on inland piers just east of the Hudson Tea Building near 15th and Hudson streets. The project has raised the ire of local open space activists, who note that the city's master plan calls for the area to be used for park space. The property is owned by Ironstate.
The project recently received approvals from the state Department of Environmental Protection, but Mayor Dawn Zimmer said the city has filed an appeal.
“I want to assure residents that I remain extremely committed to protecting our waterfront, the treasure of our city which should remain a public space for all to enjoy,” Zimmer wrote in a Letter to the Editor of The Hoboken Reporter on Jan. 22. “That is why my administration appealed the recent DEP decision for the Monarch project – a process that could take one to two years.”
The City Council passed a resolution opposing the project last year. In response, an attorney for Ironstate recently penned a letter to the city, saying city officials have prejudged the project.
Michael Barry, the president of Ironstate, has said he does not believe his project is getting a fair shake from the city. Barry also said, in an interview earlier this month, that the project complies with all of the state DEP requirements.
The Hudson County Planning Board must also approve the project, and is expected to take a vote within the next 30 days.
Concert at Mulligan’s to benefit HHS scholarship
The Guitar Bar All-Stars will feature the songs of Neil Young during a gig at Mulligan’s (158 First St.) on Feb. 2 at 9 p.m.
The program is free but a hat will be passed around to collect donations for the Daniel Knapp Scholarship at Hoboken High School. The Daniel Knapp Scholarship is presented to the graduating senior at Hoboken High School who has remained successful through strength of character and personal tenacity.
Pro-union rat makes it way to Washington Street
A large pro-union inflatable rat, commonly seen in New York City near controversial construction sites, has made its way to Washington Street in Hoboken.
Laborers Local 78, a New York City-based asbestos, lead, and hazardous waste removal labor union, has placed the inflatable rat and a coffin outside of the Hoboken YMCA at 1300 Washington St. while work is being completed inside. The large inflatable rat is commonly used by unions to protest work being done by non-union groups and members.
The group is questioning the past practices of the company completing work, Faith Environmental. A flyer from the union urges the public to call the executive director of the YMCA in protest of the work being done.
The flyer says the workers are doing asbestos abatement.
A call for comment from the YMCA’s executive director was not returned last week.
Ambulance corps looking for funds to help transport new vehicle to Hoboken
The Hoboken Volunteer Ambulance Corp (HVAC) and Hoboken's Community
Emergency Response Team (CERT) received a gift from Roger Muller of Muller Insurance to purchase a new truck. After months of searching, HVAC and CERT found a rescue truck that would primarily be used for emergency rescue missions and triage, and would be shared with the CERT team. But now HVAC needs money to get the vehicle outfitted and shipped from Tampa, Fla.
HVAC is respectfully requesting tax deductible donations, and their goal is to raise $2,000. Any amount would be graciously accepted ($10, $20, etc).
Checks can be made out to: Hoboken Volunteer Ambulance Corps (in the memo it should say For “new special operations vehicle”). Checks can be mailed to: Special Ops Vehicle c/o Lou Casciano, 1139 Park Ave., Hoboken N.J. 07030.
Hoboken Family Alliance schedules 10th Annual Cabin Fever Festival
The 10th Annual Cabin Fever Festival, sponsored by the Hoboken Family Alliance, will be held on Feb. 4 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Hoboken High School (800 Clinton St.).
Cabin Fever Festival is an open house for unique and fun kids’ activities in and around Hoboken presented by the HFA, a local non-profit organization.
The festival also provides an opportunity for residents to meet other local families and HFA members. Last year, several families walked away with raffle prizes, and this year’s prizes include a flat screen TV.
For more information, visit HobokenFamily.com. Those interested in learning more about volunteering for Cabin Fever should contact Sabrina Blom, the HFA Co-Events Director, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
JCMC no longer in-network with Aetna; Hoboken and Bayonne have been out of network for a while
Aetna health insurance members in Hudson County recently received letters from the company informing them that Jersey City Medical Center has cut ties with Aetna. This limits the local hospitals that Aetna members can use, as the company sent a similar letter to its members regarding Hoboken University Medical Center last November, and Bayonne Medical Center well before that.
However, those letters were sent after those hospitals were sold to for-profit owners, since the new owners are hoping to re-negotiate contracts with various insurers. Jersey City Medical Center is one of only two hospitals in the county that is still non-profit and was accepting numerous insurance providers. Thus, the change further limits options for people in Hudson County who have Aetna insurance.
By state law, hospitals are required to treat anyone who comes into the emergency room. However, someone using an out-of-network hospital may incur much higher bills than if they go to a hospital that has negotiated specific rates with insurers.
A Jersey City resident who contacted the Reporter last week said, “I am in a panic mode as my wife is [pregnant and] due in couple of months. This is a last minute change for both of us. The effective date is February 15, which is such a bad deal for Jersey City residents.”
The letter from Aetna, dated Jan. 15, reads in part: “Jersey City Medical Center no longer participates with Aetna. We want to let you know that as of February 15, Jersey City Medical Center is no longer part of the Aetna network. However, we will continue to negotiate in good faith toward reaching an agreement.”
The letter to Aetna members continues: “What this means for you: Starting February 15, 2012, only members in plans that offer out-of-network coverage will continue to have access to his facility.”
The letter goes on to list other hospitals that are currently still accepting Aetna insurance: Christ Hospital in Jersey City and Palisades Medical Center in North Bergen.
The county’s other hospital, Meadowlands Hospital Medical Center in Secaucus, also is not listed among the facilities currently accepting Aetna insurance.
One hospital executive reached for comment regarding why so many facilities are dropping Aetna said, “The amount of reimbursement we received from Aetna has been considerably lower than every other insurance provider. We actually lose a considerable amount of money on every Aetna patient we see. We can’t continue at that pace.”
However, Mark Rabson, a spokesman for Jersey City Medical Center, said patients shouldn’t panic and he predicted the matter will be resolved soon.
“It is not the intention of Jersey City Medical Center to be an out-of-network facility,” said Rabson. “We are negotiating in good faith with Aetna to best serve the residents of Jersey City and Hudson County. We’re hopeful for a quick resolution with the company.”
Meanwhile, Jersey City Medical Center partnered with another company and made an offer on Thursday to buy Christ Hospital. For more on that development, see briefs, inside.