Woman death in Fifth Street fire
A fire on Thursday night at 296 Fifth St. in Jersey City has killed a woman in her early 30s. Several people were also reported injured. Firefighters arrived on the scene at about 10 p.m. to find flames pouring out the front windows of the three-story, single family brownstone. Councilman Daniel Rivera said firefighters put the fire out quickly, but due to heavy smoke and possessions on fire inside the home, it was difficult for them to get inside.
Three people lived in the house, a mother, father and a daughter.
The fire, Rivera said, started in the basement and worked its way up into the rest of the house, sending heavy smoke up into the upper portions. The father apparently tried to reach the daughter’s bedroom on the third floor but was overcome with smoke and had to go out to get air. He apparently attempted to reenter the building, but the fire made it impossible, Rivera said.
“He was very distraught,” Rivera said, noting that the cause of the fire is currently under investigation.
The daughter, who was in her early 30s, appears to have perished in her sleep, possibly due to smoke inhalation, Rivera said. She was pronounced dead at the scene.
“The fire department did a wonderful job,” Rivera said. “They responded quickly and put the fire out, but conditions inside the house made it impossible for them to get inside.”
AEG Live will manage Loew’s Theater
“After a long RFP process and legal battles, we have tapped AEG Live to manage the Loew’s Theater in Jersey City and Ace Theatric Group to manage the professional renovation and restoration of the Loew’s,” said Mayor Steven Fulop last week. “We will be restoring this to a fully functional 3,000 seat regional theatre that can showcase local talent as well as international acts. We also will have New Jersey City University managing the community programming component as well as a significant commitment on the number of days at the Loew’s devoted to the Friends of Loew’s community group.”
Fulop called this a huge step forward for Jersey City. The city will spend about $30 million to $40 million to overhaul the theater.
“I am proud our administration took the steps to move this forward,” Fulop said. “It was something the last five mayors agreed that needed to happen and finally it is taking the next step forward.”
Zimmer disputes revaluation claim for increase in county budget payment
Hoboken Mayor Dawn Zimmer disagrees with claims made by several Hudson County Freeholders that Hoboken’s revaluation was responsible for the hefty increase Hoboken’s taxpayers must pay into the county budget.
Freeholder Bill O’Dea was quoted as saying that revaluation of property in Hoboken increased the total wealth of Hoboken, and under state formula, those communities with the highest wealth pay a larger percentage of the county taxes.
“The revaluation did not cause Hoboken to bear a greater portion of county taxes. This fact was confirmed by the county during at least one of their budget hearings,” according to Juan Melli, spokesperson for the mayor. “In fact if you want to be precise, based on the preliminary equalization ratio provided to us, the reval actually helped Hoboken by a small amount – about one third of one percent. The increase in Hoboken’s portion of county taxes is due to the increase in ratables relative to other towns. It was not negatively impacted by the revaluation.”
But several freeholders and several mayors interviewed for the original story said the tax formula is based on the total wealth of a community, not on increased ratables – although new ratables also tend to increase the value of each town. Hoboken’s revaluation, according to those who voted on the budget, helped increase the total wealth of Hoboken as compared to other municipalities.
Stormy weather, polar vortex possible next week
Expect strong thunderstorms on Monday and Tuesday, and weather that’s colder than normal on Wednesday. That’s what Accuweather says for next week.
The pattern for the middle of next week resembles a polar vortex, a sweep of unusually cool air from the north, one news source said.
Want to know more? Check Accuweather’s forecasts by clicking the upper right of this page, hudsonreporter.com.
Fulop denies Cowan claim of political retribution
Mayor Steven Fulop said the demotion of police Chief Robert Cowan was part of a reorganization of the department, and he disputed claims by Cowan’s attorney made earlier this week that the demotion was political retribution.
Cowan was asked to vacate his post as chief after allegedly refusing to go along with plans to reorganize the police department. Cowan, Fulop and Public Safety Director James Shea met earlier this week in City Hall when Cowan’s attorney raised the allegations of political retribution.
Cowan apparently objected to Fulop’s proposal to remove the Internal Affairs unit from under the police chief’s control, something Cowan claims is not legal. State law, according to Cowan, requires Internal Affairs to be under the police chief’s control.
Fulop, however, alluded to problems with internal investigations and a lawsuit brought against the city by a police sergeant. The lawsuit, Fulop believes, raises questions about the wisdom of leaving the Internal Affairs unit under the police chief’s control
“When you look at the facts, and the allegations of the chief threatening and meeting with a police officer at 3 a.m. in a cemetery, I think any reasonable person would say that that’s concerning,” Fulop said. “We think this is in the best interest of the city and are confident that our restructuring of the department is consistent with best practices.”
Shea in June said the city police department did not comply with federal best practices, something the reorganization of the department would rectify.
Teachers nominated for Grammy Foundation award
Three teachers from Hudson County schools are among a total of 222 music teachers nationwide that have been announced as quarterfinalists for the Music Educator Award presented by The Recording Academy and the Grammy Foundation. These were selected from 7,000 nominations.
Sean Gavarny of Hoboken Charter School in Hoboken, Anthony Good of Nicholas Oresko School in Bayonne, and John Flora of Franklin L Williams Middle School No. 7 in Jersey City are among the quarter finalists. The semifinalists will be announced in September.
JC Children’s Theater holds plays in the parks next weekend
Jersey City Children’s Theater is offering free performances of “Animal Tales,” plus youth and community creative drama workshops, to four parks throughout Jersey City. These will take place on Saturday, July 19 in Arlington Park (Grand Street and Arlington Ave.) at 2 p.m. and The Rev. Dr. Ercel F. Webb Park (Lafayette and Van Horne Streets) at 4:30 p. m. and on Sunday, July 20 at Riverview Park (Ogden Ave. and Griffith Street) at 1 p.m.. and
Pershing Field (Manhattan Ave. and Summit Ave.) at 3:30 p.m. All performances are free to the public
Shakespeare in the park?
Hudson Shakespeare Company will present performances of “Cymbeline” on Monday, July 14 and 21 at 7 p.m. in Frank Sinatra Park, 410 Frank Sinatra Drive, in Hoboken; and on Saturday, July 19 at 7 p.m. in the Historic Jersey City and Harsimus Cemetery, 435 Newark Ave. in Jersey City. This last is a special benefit performance with a $10 suggested donation. All other shows are free. For more information, visit hudsonshakespeare.homestead.com or call
Golden Door Film Festival adds LGBT category
The Golden Door International Film Festival, added a LGBT category to their festival this year.
“With Jersey City being voted number one in NJ for the LGBT community, it was a natural fit. Jersey City has a large LGBT community and we felt that part of the community should be honored and included. After all, equal opportunity is part of our mission,” says Bill Sorvino, founder and president of the Golden Door International Film Festival (GDIFF).
With Tommy Hilfiger being the presenting sponsor and the support of Autism Speaks, GDIFF is striving this year to increase autism awareness and autism acceptance. They’ll be conducting awareness seminars during the festival and is working on a program that will teach filmmaking basics to highly functioning adults with autism.
The Golden Door International Film Festival is still accepting submissions via Withoutabox and FilmFreeway until Aug. 15.
The festival runs from Sept. 18-21 at various locations throughout Jersey City, with the Opening Night and Gala Awards Ceremony at the Landmark Loew’s Jersey Theatre.
For more information on the festival, visit http://www.goldendoorfilmfestival.org and connect with them on Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/GoldenDoorFest) and Twitter (http://www.twitter.com/GoldenDoorFest)