According to Jersey City Recreation Director Bob Hurley. representatives for the Jets, headed by former Giants Pro Bowl center Bart Oates, have been conducting regular meetings with Mayor Jerramiah Healy and Chief of Staff Carl Czaplicki to discuss the parameters.
"They got the discussions off the ground and they've gone from there," said Hurley, who has also been a part of the meetings. "They've been working on the real estate part of it. The Jets said that they need 20 acres, so they're looking at the fields at Caven Point (soccer, Little League and softball) as the three pieces of land where the facility would go. The stadium would remain, as would the parking lot."
If the deal becomes official and Jersey City is selected as the new practice home of the Jets, the city will then build four new soccer fields in Lincoln Park West and will build new Little League and softball facilities within the renovations of Bayside Park below Garfield Avenue.
"The mayor and Carl want to make it go and they told the Jets that the city would make it happen," Hurley said. "They've been getting together to figure things out."
The Jets have told all five finalists, which include Florham Park, Wood-Ridge, Millburn and Berkeley Heights, to have final proposals ready by March 1...
Thanks to the efforts of former New Jersey City University women's basketball coach Alice DeFazio, there will be girls' basketball clinics being held weekly at the newly refurbished Jersey City Armory.
In a conjunctive effort with the Jersey City Department of Recreation, the Sisters Promoting Inner City Education through Sports (SPICES) will hold the weekly basketball clinics strictly for girls ages five through 17 every Thursday night through March. The clinic sessions begin at 6:30 p.m.
"We recognize the need for more structured recreation opportunities for girls and for the youth of Jersey City," Hurley said. "We are working hard to find the resources to provide these activities and opportunities. Having partnerships with organizations such as SPICES helps us fill the need."
DeFazio, who formed SPICES two years ago, says that sports is just one facet of what her organization features. "Sports teaches girls about socialization, competition, team work, discipline, commitment, and other positive qualities and experiences that prepare them for challenges they will face as adults," DeFazio said.
Current NJCU head coach Ashante Timoll and local basketball coach Karen Threatt, who was once a standout at the University of Pittsburgh, have also joined forces to conduct these clinics.
"I believe there is a strong interest among young girls to compete and participate in sports programs that we have not fully reached," DeFazio said. "If we offer more structured, well-supported and well-run programs such as this, young girls will be encouraged to come out and participate. I know many young girls are thrilled at this opportunity. Right now it's just basketball, which is my expertise, but the bottom line is to someday grow into all sports. The next step is to form a league so Jersey City can have a feeder system for the high schools."
For more information, call the Jersey City Recreation Department at (201) 547-5701 or call DeFazio at (201) 320-5500...
The committee for the Demarest/Hoboken High School Sports Hall of Fame is now accepting nominations for the 2006 Class of Induction.
All nominations of worthy athletes should be sent to organizer Buddy Matthews at Hoboken High School, via e-mail at email@example.com or by phone at (201) 356-3712. The induction dinner will be held April 29 at the Hoboken Elks Lodge...
Speaking of Halls of Fame, the annual Hudson County Sports Hall of Fame dinner will be held March 23 at the Casino in the Park. It should be a fine evening of festivities and nostalgia. The inductees will be released next week and there are some fine athletic personalities among the list.
If you want a head start on securing tickets, call Beth Ruttler at the Hudson County Parks Office at (201) 915-1386. Make plans to attend the great evening. We'll have more on this year's induction honorees in next week's column...
-- Jim Hague