for Loew’s could end up in court
Although not yet formally approved, city officials expect AEG Live to get the contract to take over management of the Landmark Loew’s Jersey Theatre in Journal Square. The Friends of the Loew’s, a volunteer group that currently manages the theatre, say they may appeal the decision. Published sources said that AEG would pay the city $350,000 a year to rent the theater over the next 30 years, and would give $3.5 million to help with renovations.
The city estimates it would cost about $30 million to renovate the theater which would come from a variety of sources.
Earlier this year, the city put out requests for proposals that would allow the 85-year-old theater to serve as a public performance space, including community and national acts.
AEG is expected to partner with New Jersey City University and Mana Contemporary to host as many as 40 community events yearly as well as national acts, something the city claims Friends of the Loew’s had failed to do.
Colin Egan, of the Friends of the Loew’s, said the city’s failure to provide the funding for repairs – which the city had agreed to do in 2004 – is the real reason the theater hasn’t been able to draw national acts or raise additional money.
“Mayor Fulop has complained that we have not done enough,” Egan said. “But we have done quite a bit.”
Fulop and O’Dea support Jersey City teachers
Mayor Steven Fulop and Freeholder Bill O’Dea have come out publicly in support of the teachers union in their on-going contract negotiations with the Jersey City Board of Education.
“The members of this local are going into their second year of working without a contract,” O’Dea said. “Although there are other cities that have been working with a contract, there are several aspects that make the case of Jersey City public schools very troubling.”
O’Dea said some members of the school negotiating team have not shown up on a number of occasions. He said while the board has said it has no money to give the teachers what they want, the board has proposed giving pay raises to top administrators.
School officials have declined to negotiate the teachers’ contract in public, but note that the mayor is not privy to the details.
NAACP demands police foot patrols
Saying 14 out of 18 recent murders in Jersey City have taken place in Ward F and poorer neighborhoods of the city, Jersey City NAACP President Bill Braker has demanded police foot patrols. He and other protestors came before the City Council on June 26, citing a dangerous escalation of violence and the need for the city to respond with a greater police presence.
Police shooting will be reviewed
City officials will review the police shooting of a 20-year-old man on Ege Avenue on Tuesday.
“Any use of deadly physical force by the JCPD is immediately investigated by an independent agency, the Hudson County Prosecutor’s Office. We have every confidence in the HCPO’s ability to do a thorough and fair investigation and all other inquiries should be directed to the HCPO,” said city spokeswoman Jennifer Morrill.
The incident occurred around 4:40 p.m. on a block between Bergen Avenue and Martin Luther King Drive.
Mark Rabson of Jersey City Medical Center said two paramedic units and two EMS units arrived on the scene in four minutes and twenty seconds of the report, along with two supervisors. A trauma team was waiting at the door of JCMC when the man was brought to the hospital for surgery. The man, however, died shortly later as a result of the gunshot to his chest.
City countersues appraisal company
Mayor Steven M. Fulop announced on June 23 that Jersey City has filed a countersuit to recoup $3 million from the firm hired by the former administration, Realty Appraisal Company, to conduct a citywide property tax revaluation, citing a conflict of interest in how the contract was awarded.
The city asserts that a former Business Administrator and City Tax Assessor worked for Realty Appraisal at the time the contract was awarded, which rendered the contract illegal and void.
In December 2013, Realty Appraisal Company filed suit alleging that the city terminated its contract with the firm without cause or legal basis. The complaint seeks money damages for amounts allegedly due and owing for work Realty Appraisal completed in connection with the contract. However, in answering the complaint, the city denied Realty Appraisal’s allegations in their entirety.
Instead, the city has asserted counterclaims against Realty Appraisal alleging that a conflict of interest rendered the contract void from and prior to its inception and alleging that any work performed by Realty Appraisal was deficient. The case is currently in the discovery phase.
Walk the walk, and hear the talk, about the waterfront
The Hudson River Waterfront Conservancy conducts its next popular “Walk on the Hudson River Walkway” on Sunday, June 29 starting at 9 a.m. The group will meet in Exchange Place Plaza (near the Hyatt Hotel) and will walk north at an easy pace to Hoboken’s Erie Lackawanna Terminal. The walk will take about two hours, right at the river edge. There’s lot to learn about the area and to see (views of Manhattan and the harbor are fabulous). Everyone, including children and your dog, are welcome. A donation of $5 is suggested. More info can be found at hudsonriverwaterfront.org.
Superstorm Sandy assistance still available
For those still struggling to recover from Hurricane Sandy, help is on the way.
The Hudson County Long Term Recovery Committee (HCLTRC) offers a range of services to Hudson County residents in need of a boost in the storm’s aftermath.
The organization can help residents find out about government-sponsored resources, provide advice on their recovery, help with home repairs, and even provide goods and financial assistance.
HCLTRC is a voluntary association of members representing many nonprofit agencies, faith-based groups and social service organizations. It was established after Sandy to support and coordinate the area’s long term recovery effort and has a special focus on the needs of low-income and disabled residents.
Services are provided on a case-by-case basis and may vary depending on your needs and the resources that are available. Hudson County residents who have been affected by Superstorm Sandy and are in need of additional assistance can dial 211 or (800) 435-7555 to speak with someone regarding Sandy-related assistance.
Teen summit to kick off summer work’s programming
Mayor Steven M. Fulop and the Department of Health and Human Services will host the first annual Jersey City Teen Leadership Summit, a health and wellness forum for Jersey City youth, in collaboration with Planned Parenthood of Metropolitan New Jersey, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, June 28 at New Jersey City University, Student Union Building, 2039 Kennedy Boulevard. The goal of the summit is to encourage youth to make healthy choices in a supportive peer environment.
The summit also kicks off the City’s JC Summer Works initiative, which provides youth with jobs and internships in the private sector, leading nonprofits and city government as well as a wide range of enrichment and career guidance programming on Saturdays throughout the summer.
The conference, which is open to Jersey City residents ages 15-21, will feature breakout sessions focusing on issues specific to urban teens, including LGBT issues, violence and gangs, and money management. Pre-registration is required through https://jcteensummit.eventbrite.com.
As part of JC Summer Works’s Saturday Jump Start sessions, the Teen Leadership Summit will feature free lunch for registered attendees and will be recognized as community service credit hours through the Jersey City public schools.
Additional Saturday Jump Start sessions will run from July 12th through Aug. 16th. Details and registration for future Saturday Jump Start sessions can be found at http://jerseycitysummerworks.org/saturday-jump-start/.
Information session is Monday for Blue Apron warehouse jobs
Blue Apron foods is opening a warehouse in Jersey City, and the Jersey City Employment and Training Program will hold an information session on June 30 from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. in the City Council Chambers, 280 Grove St.
Positions offered are with the kitchen team, packing team, and shipping and receiving. Candidates must be 18 years old, have a high school diploma or ED, must be able to read and take direction in English, and be able to lift 50 pounds, work in a refrigerated environment and stand or walk for up to 10 to 12 hours. Candidates must also be able to pass a background check and drug screening. Bring identification to the information center.