School renovations nixed
Connors Primary School in Hoboken is one of over 50 school renovation projects statewide that have not been granted funding for the coming school year by the N.J. School Development Authority (SDA), while the new state administration reviews each plan in order to prioritize spending.
Connors School, 201 Monroe St., had been awaiting final approval for their major renovation project, and had made arrangements for the students to move into the Demarest Building, 158 Fourth St.
That building housed the district’s alternative high school (which was planned to be folded into Hoboken High School) and Hoboken Charter School’s (HCS) elementary and high school students. HCS has found space for their elementary students, but was allowed to keep their high school in the district building next year, according to previous plans.
Now that Connors will not be undergoing renovations this school year, the district is again taking a look at how they will house students next year.
Interim Superintendent Peter Carter posted a letter on the district website last week stating: “[T]he state is merely saying that the approval of the construction phase will be delayed. In essence, the design stage is continuing even to go so far as state that we plan to meet on this project with state officials [on] Thursday, [May 27].
“[W]e can continue to utilize the Connors building until further notice. An administrative decision will be made on that issue in early June,” Carter said in his statement. He finishes: “May I also state unequivocally that this action is not aimed at Hoboken in particular, but is part of a review process by the Department of Education and the Schools Development Authority of all 59 new construction and rehabilitation projects.”
Director under fire for pension
Public Safety Director Angel Alicea is being accused of alleged illegal pension maneuvering by a Hoboken police lieutenant. Lt. Mark Competello has issued a complaint to Police Chief Anthony P. Falco Sr., alleging that Alicea “appears to be in violation of state administrative law, pertaining to both his pension and appointment to his current position.”
Alicea was appointed to his director position at a reduced salary last year by former Mayor Peter Cammarano. Competello’s complaint states that Alicea was still active as an internal affairs detective in Union City at the time of the hiring. Competello charges that according to state law, “Alicea was required to be retired not less than six months in order to legally accept the position of Director of Public Safety.”
Competello also charges that New Jersey Division of Pensions/Police and Fireman’s Retirement System documents list Alicea being approved for a special retirement from Union City effective February 1, 2010.
After submitting a memo to Falco, Competello said he referred these charges the Hudson County Prosecutor’s Office and the State Attorney General’s office for an independent determination of whether Alicea’s actions “constitute criminal misconduct or pension fraud.”
Alicea did not return calls for comment last week, but Business Administrator Arch Liston said the city law department is reviewing the situation.
Secret Garden Tour
Behind Hoboken’s brownstones and former factory facades is a world of lush gardens and unusual courtyard spaces. Gardeners and non-gardeners alike are invited to indulge their curiosity and pick up urban gardening tips on the Hoboken Historical Museum’s 13th Annual Secret Garden Tour, Sunday, June 6, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. (Rain date: June 13).
Eight to 10 residential gardens will open their gates to tour goers to support the museum’s fundraising efforts. The tour is sponsored by Hufnagel Landscaping, with support from other local gardening centers and assistance from the Hoboken Garden Club.
Tickets are $20 in advance, $25 day of tour. Hoboken Historical Museum members and Hoboken Garden Club members may purchase tickets for $20, and children under the age of 13 are admitted free. For advance tickets, stop by the museum at 1301 Hudson St., or call (201) 656-2240.
Tickets are also available at several retail locations around town: Hudson Place Realty, 132 Washington St.; Amanda’s Restaurant, 908 Washington St.; and Baskets of Distinction, 1102 Washington St.
Comfortable shoes and sun protection are advised. Volunteers are also needed; if interested, call the museum at (201) 656-2240, or e-mail email@example.com. Visit www.hobokensecretgardens.com for more information about the tour.
HCA 5K run with Cake Boss
The Hoboken Catholic Academy will host its annual HCA 5K Run/Walk event on June 5 and Hoboken’s “Cake Boss,” Buddy Valastro, is going to bake a cake for the event to present to some of the kids from the school.
The event follows the waterfront running route and funds the school’s technology efforts to put computers and Smartboards in each classroom.
To make the day more lucrative for the school, only the runners and walkers who raise $100 in donations will get to see the cake and meet Valastro and his family.
Participants can register for the race at active.com and start collecting those donations at activegiving.com. Walk-in registration is available at East Coast Spine, Joint, and Sports Medicine, 739 Bloomfield Ave.
The Hudson County Jaycees and the Hoboken Housing Authority are sponsoring a series of job workshops this summer. All session are on Tuesdays from 10:30 a.m. to noon at the HOPES Computer Lab on the second floor of the Rue Building, 301 Garden St.
Resume writing tips will be discussed on June1 and job search strategies will be the topic on June 8. Interview skills and dressing to impress will be covered on June 15.
For more information, please call (201) 876-2935 or (201) 795-1576 ext.15, or email: firstname.lastname@example.org.