City Council defeats five-minute rule for ordinance remarks
Gadflies and community activists railed against an ordinance that would have put a five-minute speaking limit on public comments in regard pending ordinances.
While a few of the almost two dozen speakers at the Aug. 20 meeting supported the council proposal, most opposed the measure.
Councilman Richard Boggiano had introduced the ordinance to limit public speaking on ordinances to five minutes. Boggiano said long unregulated comments on ordinance hearings often discouraged others from speaking during the regular public portion of the meeting – which is held near the end of the meeting.
Many people, he said, leave because the meetings sometimes go on far too long due in part to those speaking on ordinances without a time limit.
People during the normal public portion are limited to five minutes; people speaking on ordinances generally speak for as long as they like, as long as they remain on the topic of the ordinance.
A number of those who spoke said the ordinance would limit free speech.
Councilman Frank Gajewski, taking a narrow interpretation of the U.S. Constitution said free speech protection was not absolute.
The ordinance pointed out that the law is vague and courts have generally ruled that public speaking can be limited.
But residents who spoke out against the ordinance pointed out that this is the only chance many have to influence law making, as opposed to regular public sessions which could be about anything from pothole repairs to personal gripes about city services.
Council President Rolando Lavarro said he disagreed with the limitation. A very animated Councilman Khemraj Ramchal insisted the council vote to defeat the ordinance rather than table it or allow Boggiano to withdraw it. Boggiano and Gajewski abstained from voting as the council voted against the ordinance.
Sheriff to crack down on impaired driving
Sheriff Frank Schillari has announced that officers from the Hudson County Sheriff’s Office are cracking down on drunk drivers as part of the 2014 Labor Day “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” campaign. Beginning Aug. 15 and running through Sept. 1, roving patrols throughout Hudson County will be looking for motorists who may be driving while intoxicated, Schillari said.
The sheriff said if you plan to drink, designate a driver, someone who will not drink alcohol, before going out. Another option would be to take mass transit, a taxi, or ask a sober friend to drive you home. You can even spend the night where the activity is held. If you’re intoxicated and traveling on foot, the safest way to get home is to take a cab or have a sober friend or family member drive you to your doorstep. And always buckle up, every ride, regardless of your seating position in the vehicle. It’s your best defense against an impaired driver. For the public to report impaired drivers to law enforcement, they may dial 77 to report a drunk or aggressive driver.
For any additional information please contact Philip Swibinski at (201) 864-0600 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
HCCC hosts Smithsonian Institution’s ‘Hometown Teams’ Exhibit
A traveling exhibit that celebrates America’s love of all sports, and the ways local team spirit shapes culture, will be on display at Hudson County Community College (HCCC) North Hudson Higher Education Center now through Sept. 28.
The Museum on Main Street Program – the Smithsonian Institution’s Traveling Exhibit Service – is presenting “Hometown Teams: How Sports Shape America,” in partnership with the New Jersey Council for the Humanities. The exhibit, which features photographs, memorabilia, and artifacts that tell the story of people interacting with their favorite sports, has been available for viewing at only four other venues in New Jersey.
Hudson County Community College is the only county college to be included in the exhibit’s New Jersey itinerary. Four other states have also been chosen to premiere the exhibition, which eventually will make its way through 180 small towns in 30 states over the next five years.
Several events have been planned to accompany the exhibition while it is at Hudson County Community College.
On Sept. 4 at noon, there will be a barbecue that will cover the exhibit content. People can also drop in their own stories into an oral history box.
On Sept. 16 at 6:30 p.m. acclaimed sports artist Paul Lempa and sportswriter Jim Hague, who authored the book “Braddock: The Rise of the Cinderella Man,” will team up to discuss the history and legacy of the ‘56-57 Dodgers at Roosevelt Stadium.
On Friday, Sept. 26 at 11 a.m. Pete Cannarozzi, the official organist for the New Jersey Devils’ games, will demonstrate how he plays during those games. The conductor/musician was the pianist for the acclaimed singing duo Ashford & Simpson, and has been playing with the Devils since 2001. The event will be held at the HCCC Student Lounge, 25 Journal Square, Jersey City.
Come out and sing
Jersey City is to become home to a new community chorus which will celebrate the Great American Songbook.
These are songs seen as the most influential American popular songs of the 20th Century.
Conceived by Jersey City resident Liz Morrill, the chorus called “North River Wing” will be directed by Med Zervouliz, currently the music director and arranger at The Paper Mill Playhouse.
Rehearsals will take place at Victory Hall, located at 186 Grand St., about three blocks the Grove St. PATH station and five blocks from the Exchange Place PATH. The Marin Boulevard Light Rail station is about two blocks away.
Rehearsals will take place Sunday nights from 5 to 7 p.m. The fall semester will run from Sept. 21 to Jan 18. Each semester will culminate in concert that will be open to the public and free of charge.
No experience is needed. You just have to hold a tune. Auditions will be held on Sept. 7. For more information Email email@example.com and/or visit the group’s Facebook.
JCIC offers e-waste and white goods recycling
The Jersey City Incinerator Authority (JCIA) offers residents the opportunity to recycle large household items (white goods) and used consumer electronic equipment through its White Goods and E-Waste recycling programs.
Residents have two options to dispose of their white goods and e-waste. They can deliver them at JCIA headquarters, 501 Route 440, Jersey City, Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Proof of residency is required, such as a driver’s license, utility bill, etc. Or residents can schedule a pickup by calling JCIA, Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., at (201) 432-4645, ext. 600.