JERSEY CITY BRIEFS
Jun 30, 2013 | 3299 views | 0 0 comments | 117 117 recommendations | email to a friend | print

Holiday deadlines

Due to the upcoming July 4 holiday, the Hudson Reporter classified and display ad deadlines will change.

For the Sunday (July 7) edition, the classified deadline is Tuesday, July 2 at 12 p.m.

For display ads for North Bergen, Union City, West New York, Weehawken and Secaucus, the deadline is Tuesday at noon. For Hoboken and Jersey City, the deadline is Thursday at noon.

As for letters – as always, the earlier, the better. Letters will be published when they are fact-checked, and formatted, and confirmed with the author.

The office will be closed Thursday, July 4. We will reopen on Friday, July 5. We thank you for your patronage and have a wonderful and safe holiday!

To place an ad call 201-798-7800 or email: Classified@hudsonreporter.com or place your ad online at www.hudsonreporter.com and click on “Place a Classified Ad.”

Parking restrictions, street/City Hall closures loom for July 1 mayoral inauguration

A presidential-sized inaugural celebration will be shoehorned into the streets of downtown Jersey City for the swearing in of newly-elected Mayor Steven Fulop on Monday, July 1. City officials are advising residents of street closures downtown in the area around City Hall, and are encouraging drivers to seek alternate routes if they have business in that part of town that day.

Vehicular traffic will be restricted between Grand Street and Christopher Columbus Drive, and between Barrow Street and Marin Boulevard, beginning at 9 a.m. on July 1. Parking will also be restricted on these same streets beginning Sunday, June 30 at midnight.

These restrictions will be in place for a full 24 hours.

A press release issued by the city last week stated that residents and businesses in the area are being notified of the closures and restrictions through various channels.

“The street closures in the area of city hall are to facilitate the hundreds of people anticipated to attend the public inauguration of Mayor Fulop, which includes a block party celebration…and an inaugural address,” said city spokeswoman Jennifer Morrill. “We [hope] to mitigate the impact on the community, but know this may come as an inconvenience to some. However, we are hopeful that most residents will view this as a historic moment for Jersey City, and will participate in the festivities.”

Fulop’s ceremonial swearing in will take place at 6 p.m. outside of City Hall. Mayor Fulop will be sworn in by Katharine S. Hayden, U.S. District Court Judge for the District of New Jersey. Mayor Fulop will then deliver an inaugural address which, he has said, will further outline the goals of vision of his administration.

New Jersey Gov. Christopher Christie and U.S. Senator Robert Menendez will also be in attendance and will each deliver their own remarks during the ceremony.

Following Fulop’s swearing in, there will be a free community block party featuring performances by ELEW, the Spirit of Life Ensemble, and the Velazquez Family Singers.

According to the city, the cost of this celebration will be covered by funds from Fulop’s election fund and is not being paid for with taxpayer dollars.

Earlier in the day, beginning at 1 p.m., the nine members of the newly-elected City Council will be sworn in during a ceremony at City Hall, which will be followed by a reorganization meeting that will begin at 2 p.m.

Following the reorganization meeting, City Hall will be closed as part of security protocols in advance of the evening ceremony. Residents who had been planning on doing business in City Hall on July 1 will not have access to the building after the conclusion of the reorganization meeting.

The newly-elected City Council members include Rolando Lavarro Jr. (at-large); Joyce Watterman (at-large); Daniel Rivera (at-large); Fran Gajewski (Ward A); Khemraj “Chico” Ramchal (Ward B); Richard Boggiano (Ward C); Michael Yun (Ward D); Candice Osborne (Ward E); and Diane Coleman (Ward F).

Fulop halts Jersey City property revaluation

In a letter to Business Administrator Jack Kelly, Mayor-elect Steven Fulop has requested that Realty Appraisal Company discontinue work on the citywide property revaluation that began in Jersey City in 2011.

In the letter to Kelly, Fulop stated: “From the start there have been grave concerns regarding the manner in which proposals for the revaluation contract were reviewed and recommended by the administration [of Mayor Jerramiah T. Healy]. Not the least of those concerns involves the role played by the city’s prior business administrator [Brian O’Reilly] who, after leaving the city, became employed by Realty Appraisal.”

In February 2011, the Healy administration hired Realty Appraisal Company to perform the revaluation for $3.2 million. At the time, the process was supposed to be completed by the end of 2012. However, later, in February 2012, Healy requested a one-year delay, thus pushing the conclusion of the reval until after the May 2013 municipal election. Fulop, who opposed the revaluation, called Healy’s tactic a blatant political move that would delay an inevitable tax hike on tens of thousands of homeowners until after the election.

“This reval was flawed from the beginning because it will result in a tax hike for tens of thousands of homeowners who cannot afford it,” Fulop said. “I will not allow this back-door tax hike planned by the Healy administration to take place.”

In his letter to Kelly, Fulop also noted, “there have been concerns raised regarding the impact of hurricane Sandy on property value and weather this impact dictates nullification of any assessments already undertaken and starting the process over again. Similarly, concerns about methodology and the fact that the process has taken an excessive amount of time resulting in property values changing while the revaluation is taking place call into question the validity of any report that might be produced. Public confidence in the process of real property evaluation dictates an investigation of these issues and, to that end, no further expenditure of public dollars should occur until and unless such an investigation reaches a satisfactory conclusion.”

Fulop requested that Kelly immediately stop payment on the contract and “immediately direct that Realty Appraisal suspend all work under this contract until such time that you and my administration can conduct a thorough review of the contract procurement process, Realty Appraisals performance, and the efficacy of pursuing a revaluation of the City in the current economic environment.”

Sustainable JC to host lecture on sustainable buildings

On Tuesday, July 2 at 6:30 p.m. Sustainable JC will hold the next installment in its Experts Talk series. The topic of the next talk will be “Greener Buildings, Energy Efficiency and Water Conservation for Neighborhoods” and will take place at 121 Newark Ave., Fifth Floor. Tickets for the event are $10 per person. The special guest speaker will be architect Jorge Mastropietro, who designed two sustainable residential developments on Bright Street. RSVP required to attend the event, which will be limited to 25 guests. To RSVP, visit http://sustainablejc.eventbrite.com/. For more information regarding this event, visit

http://www.meetup.com/Sustainable-Jersey-City/events/126266372/.

Jersey City Police apprehend alleged hit and run driver of cyclist

The Jersey City Police Department issued a press release last week announcing the arrest of a driver who allegedly hit a cyclist nearly two weeks ago. The cyclist later succumbed to her injuries.

According to the release, Neteria Augcomfar, 24, of Halladay Street, was taken into custody by members of the JCPD Major Case Squad after allegedly confirming she was the driver of a 2008 silver Volkswagen Jetta allegedly seen fleeing the scene on Thursday, June 20 where Natalia R. Caicedo, 34, was run down as she rode her bicycle on Marin Boulevard.

Caicedo sustained serious injuries to the head and body as a result of the accident. The victim was taken to Jersey City Medical Center where she remaining in a coma for several hours before she succumbed to her injuries at 3:21 a.m.

“I have to commend the public that gave us vital leads in the case. Their assistance made all the difference,” said Acting Police Chief Joseph Connors. “In addition, [I’d] like to commend the diligence of the Major Case squad that followed all the leads and helped us bring this case to a successful conclusion. This is an unfortunate tragedy, one that likely was avoidable,” said acting Police Chief Joseph Connors. “Also we would like to extend our heartfelt condolences to the family at this trying time.”

Police said the incident allegedly unfolded as Caicedo rode her bike southbound in the northbound lane of Marin Boulevard when she was allegedly struck by Augcomfor at about 8:30 p.m. Augcomfar and the owner of the car – who was not identified by the JCPD – reported to the Major Case offices on Monday, June 24.

The driver has allegedly told police that she was unaware that she hit Caicedo.

Augcomfar is charged with reckless driving, leaving the scene of an accident, and leaving the scene of an accident that resulted in death.

Fulop joins Booker, Redd in calling for state approval of plan to secure Medicaid funds for safety net hospitals

Steven Fulop, who will be inaugurated as Jersey City mayor this week, has joined Newark Mayor Cory Booker and Camden Mayor Dana Redd in calling on the state legislature to pass S-2466. The bill would allow cities in New Jersey that are home to so-called “safety net” hospitals that care for the most needy patients to voluntarily enact a special fee, generating matching federal funds to care for Medicaid patients. Because these hospitals treat the uninsured and underinsured in New Jersey, many of these residents experience severe financial problems when faced with a medical crisis, the mayors said. This modest fee and the matching federal funds it will generate will help safety net hospitals stay in business and continue to provide medical care for all those who benefit from their services.

Jersey City Medical Center, one of only two remaining hospitals in Jersey City, is currently regarded as the city’s safety net hospital. The nonprofit hospital recently announced plans to join the Barnabas Health system

The city’s other remaining hospital, Christ Hospital, was historically also regarded as a safety net hospital until it was purchased last year by the owners of Hoboken University Medical Center and Bayonne Medical Center. The hospital is now run as a for-profit medical facility.

If local governing bodies choose to participate, they will be allowed to enact the fee, capped at 5.47 percent, on hospitals in their jurisdictions – with the revenue and the matching funds it generates dedicated to Medicaid services. The mayors said it is a smart and effective way to leverage federal resources to help keep the safety net hospitals in operation and provide vital care for those who need it most.

“This legislation is vital for Jersey City to effectively capitalize on available federal funds and provide the hospital care our residents desperately need and deserve,” said Fulop. “It brings money to New Jersey from Washington and it will save lives.”

Fulop estimates the law would, conservatively, generate about $3 million for Jersey City’s poorest patients.

“This legislation is critical for hospitals in New Jersey’s cities that provide care for our most vulnerable residents,” said Mayor Booker. “The critics may try to mischaracterize this plan, but it is an innovative way to capture federal dollars and target their use to the hospitals that provide a safety net for those most in need of medical care. It will deliver resources to hospitals without burdening taxpayers or local government.”

“This hospital fee idea succeeded in Philadelphia and it can succeed in New Jersey,” said Mayor Redd. “We all lose if these hospitals can no longer operate and we all will pay the price if these patients aren’t given the medical care they need.”

Ferris High Class of ’63 to hold 50th reunion

The Ferris High School graduating class of 1963 will hold its 50th reunion on Tuesday, Sept. 24 at 7 p.m. La Reggia in Secaucus. The cost to attend is $80 per person. A bloc of rooms has been set aside for the reunion at Meadowlands Plaza for a discounted rate. For further information, contact Gary Romano at (201) 384-3172 or gromano60@aol.com.

Nimbus, Jersey City Children’s Theater collaborate on JC Summer Arts

Jersey City Children’s Theater and the Jersey City-based Nimbus Dance Works have launched a new collaborative performing arts program, JC Summer Arts, geared toward providing children with high-quality dance, theater, and music instruction in a fun, creative, and educationally enriching environment. The program draws on the expertise of Jersey City Children’s Theater and Nimbus Dance Works in their respective fields in designing a program that immerses students in the performing arts.

JC Summer Arts consists of a morning program, Bard Party: Shakespeare, Dance and Song, for students 4 to 9 years of age, and a separate program, the Summer Dance and Acting Intensive, for older youth ages 10 to 17.

Bard Party: Shakespeare, Dance and Song is a six-week program, although students can sign up for individual weeks, if their families wish. The Summer Dance and Acting Intensive is a three-week program and can also be taken for a single week. Tuition for Bard Party: Shakespeare, Dance and Song is $280 for one week; $252/week for two-to-five weeks of instruction; or $1,296 for all six weeks. Tuition for the Summer Dance and Acting Intensive is $300 for one week and $750 for all three weeks.

Need-based scholarships will be made available on a first come-first served basis. Additionally, in partnership with the Jersey City Board of Education, the program will offer eight full scholarships to students from the Jersey City Public Schools who have demonstrated excellence and determination in their dance and theater studies. Contact Rachel Oakes at rachel@jcchildrenstheater.org regarding information on scholarships.

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