Jersey City to declare state of emergency with closing of Pulaski Skyway
In anticipation of the closing of the Pulaski Skyway on Saturday, Mayor Steven Fulop is planning to declare a state of emergency – at least for the first few weeks – to help deal with confusion on local streets. The move would allow the city to reassign police officers and to more quickly change the timing of traffic lights, foregoing the required pre-approval by the City Council.
Meanwhile the city has announced its plans to deal with closures, which include turn restrictions, parking restrictions, addition of police officers, provisions for movement of emergency vehicles and public transportation.
At a press conference held on April 9, Mayor Fulop and Jersey City public safety officials joined with the New Jersey Department of Transportation (DOT) to outline state and city plans to address traffic issues as a result of the two-year closure of the Skyway.
At the request of the city, the DOT is funding the hiring of 55 off-duty Jersey City police
officers to assist traffic flow during the morning and afternoon rush hours, with the officers
being supported by the JCPD Motorcycle Squad as rapid response. Deployments of the
officers began Thursday to get residents familiar with the posts.
The Office of Emergency Management will be opened at 6 a.m. on Monday, April 14 and
will serve as the command center during the Skyway closure. The DOT is also
installing nearly two dozen adaptive traffic signals in Jersey City to accommodate an
anticipated additional 1,700 vehicles on Route 1&9 Truck.
As part of its plan, Jersey City has implemented morning turn restrictions throughout the city.
These restrictions are meant to keep Skyway traffic off side streets and to improve the overall flow of traffic. Established NJT bus lines and school buses will be exempt from turn restrictions in order to encourage use of public transportation and minimize disruption for students and the plan takes into account the mobility of public safety vehicles.
Jersey City has also passed an ordinance specifically prohibiting vehicles from blocking crosswalks and intersections. Signs are being posted at signalized intersections throughout the city, and the fine will be $150 for each violation.
To provide two continuous lanes of traffic during rush hours, Jersey City will also implement
parking and stopping regulations along Communipaw Avenue and Grand Street.
For more information, please visit the city website at www.jerseycitynj.gov.
Meanwhile, the Hudson County Board of Chosen Freeholders authorized temporary ingress closures of the Lincoln Park access drives (East and West) and the parking lot entrance along Duncan Avenue.
This will take place from Monday through Friday from 6 to 10 a.m. in Jersey City. The closures will be in place until the Skyway rehabilitation and detour is completed. Appropriate signs and other devices in conformance with the current “Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices for Streets and Highways” shall be erected and maintained.
Council adds town hall meetings on $501M budget
With the introduction of the administration’s $501 million budget proposal, Council President Rolando Lavarro announced that there will be two Town Hall Meetings, in addition to the public hearing at the recent council meeting, to give the public an opportunity to voice out their views and comments on the administration’s proposed budget.
A copy of the budget is available on the City’s website at http://www.jerseycitynj.gov/, under “CITY NEWS,” by clicking on the image “Jersey City Municipal Budget Book.”
The Town Hall meetings, which Lavarro describes as “listening tours”, will be conducted at the following dates and locations: Monday, April 14 at 6 p.m. in Joseph H. Brensinger School, P.S. 17 Auditorium, 600 Bergen Ave. and Wednesday, April 16 at 6 p.m., Christa McAuliffe School, P.S. 28 Auditorium 167 Hancock Ave.
“While we have conducted the statutorily-required budget public hearing, this is not just about fulfilling minimum requirements,” said Lavarro. “We want the people of Jersey City to provide input and affirm that their priorities are reflected in the budget.”
Conference on improving behavioral health
Looking to address challenges outlined in a recent study by Healthcare Quality Strategies, Inc., Mayor Steven M. Fulop, the City Council, and the Department of Health and Human Services will hold a conference for healthcare providers with a focus on improving behavioral health outcomes in our community at 8 a.m. on Tuesday, April 15 at the Jersey City Medical Center Annex, 350 Montgomery St.
This event hosted by the Jersey City Medical Center will feature discussions involving addiction, youth health, and senior health initiatives. Featured speakers include Mayor Fulop; Dennis Gonzalez, HHS Region II Intergovernmental Affairs Specialist; Joe Scott, President and CEO of Liberty Health; Marianne Sagarese, Program Manager at Healthcare Quality Strategies, Inc.; Dr. Yasmin Meah, Associate Professor of Geriatrics and Palliative Medicine at Mount Sinai Hospital; Dr. Marli Vogel-Gelfand, Director of Child and Adolescent Behavioral Health Services at Jersey City Medical Center; and Paul Steffens of the Jersey City Municipal Drug-Free Alliance.
According to a report released this January by Healthcare Quality Strategies, Inc. – an organization whose mission is accelerating healthcare quality improvement in New Jersey –Jersey City’s Medicare patients have the highest rates of alcohol abuse, drug abuse, and attempted suicide in Hudson County. The report, which identifies behavioral health trends among Hudson County Medicare patients before and after Hurricane Sandy, also recommends that addressing behavioral health problems become a public health priority for Jersey City.
For information about this event, contact the Department of Health and Human Services at (201) 547-6800.
Open House at Metropolitan Family Health Network
Metropolitan Family Health Network, 935 Garfield Ave. in Jersey City, will hold an open house on Thursday, April 17 from 5:30 to 7 p.m. Attendees can tour the health center, speak with staff, receive information from health insurance representatives and vendors, learn about the health care and dental services offered, enjoy light refreshments and more. Metropolitan Family Health Network is located right by the Garfield Avenue Light Rail stop. For more information, please call (201) 478-5800.
Pasta party hosted by The Kennedy Dancers
On Saturday, April 26, from 7 to 11 p.m., The Kennedy Dancers will host a Pasta Party Fundraiser for its teen company, The Inner City Youth Junior Dance Company. The monies raised will assist young dancers in participating in dance competitions. Admission fees for competitions are quite high, hence the need for a fundraiser. The goal of the event is to raise $2,000.
The evening will include all the pasta you can eat, plus lots of other tasty things to dine on. There will be games and contests and prizes for the winners. There will even be a spaghetti eating contest for those interested. The Kennedy Dancers Repertory Company (professional dancers) and the Inner City Youth Jr. Dance Company will provide entertainment for the evening. Dance music will follow for all to join in.
Tickets for the Pasta Party Fundraiser are as follows: $15 if purchased in advance and $20 at the door. Tickets for children 12 and under will be $10. If you’d like to make an additional donation of food, desserts, wine or money, please call us at (201) 659-2190.
6th Borough Market returns to Jersey City
After its successful debut last fall, 6th Borough Market returns to downtown Jersey City for 2014. One special Sunday each month, the market brings together a curated mix of makers, collectors and chefs, to create a gathering where you can taste, discover and enjoy time with friends and family. The event will be held on Sundays April 27, May 18, June 22, July 20, Aug. 10, Sept. 14, and Oct. 19. April’s market will take place at 1 McWilliams Place, on Hamilton Park, and run from 11a.m.-5 p.m. Look for a move to the heart of downtown later in the season. For more information go to www.6thboroughmarket.com; Facebook.com/6thboroughmarket or contact the market at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 203 415 0578
CarePoint funds projects to help young people and seniors
The CarePoint Health Foundation has awarded three local organizations $5,000 each to fund important projects to help young people and senior citizens in Hudson County. The three non-profit groups that received the donations were AngelaCARES, Concordia Learning Center and New City Kids. The donations represent a commitment on the part of CarePoint Health to reach out to the needs of patients and families in the communities served by Bayonne Medical Center, Christ Hospital, and Hoboken University Medical Center.
AngelaCARES, serves young people and senior citizens and is headquartered in Jersey City. Their Here4Seniors program provides direct services and wellness workshops to Hudson County seniors. Their programs include Thanksgiving dinners for the homebound, a yearly “Senior Prom,” and walking groups to encourage activity and socialization. Their workshops and seminars offer topics of interest to seniors including “Addiction and the Older Adult” and “Understanding the Changes Associated with Aging.”
Concordia Learning Center, located in Jersey City at St. Joseph’s School for the Blind, provides specialized services for children with multiple disabilities and is the only school for the blind in New Jersey. The CarePoint Health Foundation funded support for an on-line, ‘cloud-based’ standards-based curriculum for students with special needs. Individualized assessment tools, goals and resulting work plans are aligned with the Common Core Standards and the materials are adapted by the teachers to meet the needs of their students and families.
The mission of New City Kids, established in 2000 in Jersey City, is “Loving Kids for Change.” Their programs, including the After School Program for Academic Excellence, Teen Life Internship Program, summer camp and City Sail, are for children aged six through eighteen. Over the past six years, 90 percent of New City Kids alumni attended college or have graduated.
American Cancer Society Grant to promote health equity in Hudson County
On April 4, the American Cancer Society announced that a $50,000 grant has been awarded to North Hudson Community Action Corporation’s Health Center Division to provide cancer awareness, education, and screening for colorectal cancer to individuals in the northern region of Hudson County.
The grant is part of a $6.4 million gift from the Walgreens Way To Well Commitment program that supports the American Cancer Society’s Community Health Advocates implementing Nationwide Grants for Empowerment and Equity (CHANGE) program. The CHANGE grants help promote health equity and ensure that communities with a higher burden of cancer have equal access to education and screening resources.
The Health Center’s goal is to increase colorectal (colon) cancer screening rates among men and women aged 50 years and older. An increase in rates will reduce illness and death from the disease. A certified medical assistant will assist patients with receiving appropriate and timely follow-up for abnormalities and also facilitate the timely start of treatment. The screenings, along with one-on-one education, individualized support and follow-up will be at no charge to patients.
“This important initiative has been designed to reduce disparities to screening and quality care” Joan M. Quigley, President/CEO of the North Hudson Community Action Corporation, said in a statement. “Colorectal cancer is the second-leading cause of cancer death in the United States. If you are 50 or older or have a history of colon cancer in your family, get screened. It can save your life.”
According to the American Cancer Society, disparities predominantly arise from inequities in work, wealth, income, education, housing, and overall standard of living, as well as social barriers to high-quality cancer prevention, early detection and treatment services. Additionally, persons with lower socioeconomic status are more likely to experience increased cancer risks due to tobacco use, physical inactivity and poor diet due to environmental or community barriers that provide fewer opportunities for physical activity and less access to fruits and vegetables.
The Walgreens Way to Well Commitment program, which focuses on improving everyday health through the prevention and early detection of leading diseases, has been a supporter of the CHANGE grant program since 2012. But the company’s overall support of the Society spans two decades and has helped to raise a total of $23 million to date in local communities throughout the country in partnership with their customers.
First event of annual program of Hudson River ‘Walk the Walkway’ is April 27
The Hudson River Waterfront Conservancy (HRWC) has announced the fourth annual “Walk the Walkway” series on the Hudson River Walkway. The first of seven walks will occur on Sunday, April 27 and will last about two hours. Participants meet in the South Cove Plaza Parking lot at 1 Le Fante Way off Route 440 in Bayonne. A donation of $5 is suggested. Pre-registration is also suggested but is not required. A total of seven events will occur this year each featuring two to three miles of easy pacing. In addition to Bayonne, walks will also occur in Edgewater, Jersey City, Hoboken and Weehawken.
The Hudson River Walkway runs along the Hudson River Waterfront through nine communities in Hudson and Bergen counties. It extends from the Bayonne Bridge to the George Washington Bridge in Fort Lee. The 18.5 linear mile walkway is 85 percent complete. Mile-long sections are complete in Jersey City, Hoboken, Weehawken, West New York and North Bergen. New segments of the walkway are under construction in Jersey City, Edgewater, North Bergen and Guttenberg. Reconstruction of damages from Hurricane Sandy is continuing in Edgewater.
Go to www.hudsonriverwaterfront.org to register and for details about the other events or contact Don Stitzenberg at email@example.com or call (201) 519-7057.