Rockefeller family: We’re not involved in Chris Christie/Hoboken issue, and we don’t own Rockefeller Group
The Rockefeller family may be rich, but they don’t own land in Hoboken. They wanted to clarify that because recently, the Rockefeller Group, a development company in New York, has been mentioned in connection with a controversy involving Gov. Chris Christie, Mayor Dawn Zimmer, and three blocks of land in upper Hoboken. A representative wrote on Wednesday to clarify their involvement:
“I am a public relations associate of the Rockefeller family. We have been reading your fine articles about the Hoboken situation. Since I suspect you may be writing about this issue again, I wanted to give you some background on behalf of members of the Rockefeller family.
As the situation has developed in Hoboken over the past few weeks, the news media have regularly referred to the Rockefeller Group’s ownership of the real estate parcel in Hoboken. Understandably, much of the public has assumed (we have heard from a few of them) that the Rockefeller Group and the Rockefeller family are one and the same. At one point in time that would have been correct. However, the Rockefeller Family sold the Rockefeller Group, owner of Rockefeller Center and other properties, to the Japanese company, Mitsubishi Estates Corporation, in 1989. There is currently no Rockefeller Family investment in, ownership of or involvement with the Rockefeller Group, and there has not been for almost 25 years.
We think it might be edifying for the public to be made aware of this fact in future stories.
Many thanks for your understanding, and congratulations on some fine work.”
Same lawyers represent Zimmer and Christie official, report says; Mason wants out of legal contract because of it
The same Newark-based law firm represents both sides of the ongoing battle between Hoboken Mayor Dawn Zimmer and the administration of Gov. Christopher Christie over the mayor’s allegations that high-ranking Christie officials threatened to withhold Hurricane Sandy aid unless she approved a development project important to the governor, according to a report on NJ.com.
Krovatin & Klingeman, the firm the Hoboken City Council hired two weeks ago to represent Zimmer during the ongoing investigation by the U.S. Attorney, is also representing Christina Genovese Renna, a Christie appointee who stepped down recently after being served a subpoena by a state committee investigating lane closures on the George Washington Bridge, said the report.
Gerald Krovatin is representing Zimmer while his partner, Henry Klingeman, is representing Renna. In a letter to the city’s attorney, Krovatin said that “out of an abundance of caution,” he and Klingeman will not share any documents or knowledge with each other.
But 2nd Ward Councilwoman Beth Mason, a frequent critic of Zimmer, said she is concerned that the relationship between Krovatin and Klingeman creates a conflict of interest for the city, and that she is uncomfortable with providing confidential documents to Krovatin as long as Klingeman is representing Renna.
“Given Ms. Renna certainly would have a substantial interest in learning what information the mayor and/or other officials of the city have in this matter, the conflict of interest seems readily apparent,” she said in a letter to the city’s corporation counsel, Mellissa Longo.
Longo stated at a Wednesday night council meeting that she would issue a formal response to Mason in the coming week and provided Krovatin’s letter, which argued that because Renna is subpoenaed in the lane closure investigation, while Zimmer is involved in a separate investigation, the pair are not at odds, therefore precluding the existence of any conflict.
Empire Realty to serve seniors on Valentine’s Day
For the fourth year in a row, Empire Realty Group agents will serve food to Hoboken’s senior citizens at the Multiservice Center in Hoboken on Valentine’s Day, Feb. 14. The city’s director of health and human services, Leo Pellegrini, in conjunction with Tom Foley and Cosmo of the Multi-Service Center, are helping to organize the event. Lisa Troyano-Ascolese is spearheading this year’s event for Empire.
On the breakfast menu this year will be scrambled eggs, sausage, hash browns, French toast, fruit salad, muffins and dessert. Kevin Misslich, a world-renowned opera singer who has just started as a new agent with Empire Realty Group, will be kicking off the event with an introductory song or two. In addition to the regular bingo scheduled during the breakfast, Empire will have their own “penguin” boards with one of the Empire Cares volunteers calling out the numbers. Agents from Empire will help prepare, cook and serve the seniors starting at 10 a.m.
Hoboken Volunteers’ Chili Cook-Off and Homebrewing competition set for Feb. 23
The Hoboken Volunteers 5th Annual Chili Cook-Off & Homebrewing Competition will take place this year on Sunday, Feb. 23 at the Elks Lodge in Hoboken, 1005 Washington St. This year, the event will support The Jubilee Center’s Summer Day Camp as the volunteers’ charity organization of choice.
“The Jubilee Center is a dynamic afterschool program designed to meet the needs of kids living in Hoboken public housing,” said the Reverend Danny Lennox, who works at the center. “Through the educational program, one-on-one tutoring, exercise, nutritious meals and a variety of enrichment workshops such as dance, music, and computer sciences, we aim to create an environment that will equip these kids to thrive in an increasingly complex world.”
The Jubilee Center offers a seven week summer experience aimed at giving children a chance to spend time doing interesting and challenging activities. Campers spend three nights at a local camp where they are introduced to nature through activities than include swimming, hiking, canoeing and other outdoor recreational activities. Many of the campers have said it is the only time they have experienced a summer camp in their lives.
At the Chili Cook-Off and Homebrewing competition, a panel of judges will set out on a culinary quest to find best chili and beer in town while guests eat, drink, and groove to live music by the band Gravy Train.
The winners of Best Judged Meat Chili, Best Judged Vegetarian Chili, Best Judged Beer, Fan Favorite Chili and Fan Favorite Beer will receive gift certificates from various local businesses. The top prize is a $200 gift certificate to Dino & Harry’s for Best Judged Meat Chili. Best Judged winners will be provided a trophy by Hudson County Freeholder Anthony Romano.
Last year, Hoboken Volunteers raised $10,000 for TRUE Mentors from over 400 people attending the event. As the competition grows larger every year, the group strives to continue to raise the bar in support of local charities in need.
“We are extremely proud to be celebrating our 5th Annual Chili Cook-Off and Homebrewing Contest,” said the group’s founder, 4th Ward Councilman Tim Occhipinti. “Thanks to the Hoboken community this event continues to grow and get better every year. We are very pleased to raise much needed funds for the Jubilee Center and their children’s summer camp overnight trip.”
Tickets are $30 before Feb. 15 and include chili and beer samplings and a commemorative glass, while supplies last. From Feb. 16 through Feb. 23, tickets will be $35 and $40 at the door. For more information on the event or the organization, please visit www.hobokenvolunteers.com. Tickets can be purchased at https://hvchilicookoff2014.eventbrite.com.
Children under direct supervision are welcome at the event. We kindly ask that no strollers be brought into the Elks Lodge.
Ben & Jerry’s, Inserra ShopRite, Hotel Victor, Simply Beer and hMAG are sponsoring the event. If you are a business owner and interested in adding your business to the list of sponsors, email Amanda at firstname.lastname@example.org.