Hudson County freeholders reject amendment to save county sports HUDSON COUNTY – The last-ditch attempt to save the athletic programs at the Hudson County Schools of Technology failed on Monday night.
After nearly four hours of presentations from school administrators, parents, and even some athletes themselves, the Hudson County Board of Chosen Freeholders voted down a proposal that would have amended the Hudson County 2010 budget by $300,000 to help keep the athletic programs at both County Prep of Jersey City and High Tech in North Bergen alive.
The proposed amendment to the budget, which was introduced by Freeholder Bill O’Dea, was voted down by a vote of 5-2, with only O’Dea and Freeholder Eliu Rivera voting for the proposal. Freeholder Jeffrey Dublin was not present for the vote due to a death in his family.
One speaker after another voiced reasons why the programs should stay active, but the freeholders would not budge on the idea.
Freeholder Jose Munoz believed that a vote for the proposed amendment would “lead to a war’’ between the freeholders and the elected officials in the representing municipalities. The mayors of most of Hudson County's towns want to do away with the county schools' athletic programs in order to save money, and because they believe some of the schools are drawing top athletes away from the individual towns' public schools.
“I don’t like this war, but we didn’t start this war,” O’Dea said. “We need to show we support the idea of sports programs at these schools.”
For more on the meeting, look for Jim Hague’s report in the Hudson Reporter news section and his Scoreboard sports column this week.
Alleged Hoboken con man, ‘Dr. Dexter Davis,’ arrested HOBOKEN – Last month, students at Hoboken High School complained that a man calling himself “Dr. Dexter Davis” met with them at the school and had them raise money by selling raffle tickets for what allegedly turned out to be bogus scholarships. An internet search found other incidents of a man with that name allegedly causing problems.
Over this past weekend, according to the Hoboken police, Davis was arrested by the Cherry Hill police. Davis will eventually come back to Hudson County Superior Court to answer the charges, according to the Hoboken police.
According to the Cherry Hill police report, three men in Cherry Hill had complained about Davis this past Saturday, alleging that he asked them to sell raffle tickets for a bogus raffle. On Sunday, one of the men spotted Davis in a Cherry Hill Dunkin’ Donuts and called police. The police found out there was a warrant out for him in Hudson County and arrested him.
Jersey City lawyer plans to leave City Hall
JERSEY CITY – Jersey City Corporation counsel Bill Matsikoudis is planning to leave the post by the end of July.
Matsikoudis confirmed in a recent phone call that he is leaving but said that the plans are not "concrete."
Matsikoudis, 38, has been head of the city's law department since November, 2004 when he was named to the position by Healy, a family friend.
Since then, he has earned accolades for his dogged litigation against corporations such as PPG and Honeywell to bring about the remediation of chromium contamination on sites across Jersey City. Yet he has been criticized for negotiating settlements such as the one with the owner of 111 First St. building in downtown Jersey City that allowed for over $76 million in fines for a developer to be forgiven.
He did not offer many details on his future plans since his leaving is not official, only to say that he plans to travel and is looking to work at a private law firm.
When asked this weekend about Matsikoudis, Healy said he was "aware" of him looking to leave his job, but would not comment until there is an official notification from Matsikoudis that he is stepping down.
However, his plans to leave were not a surprise to several unnamed city sources, who said Matsikoudis made it known that he would be leaving in the summer.
One source said that Matsikoudis is leaving so he can pursue a longtime goal of running for political office. - RK Hoboken and Weehawken soon may be able to charge 3.5 percent sales tax HUDSON COUNTY – Certain urban towns in New Jersey are eligible to charge a low 3.5 percent sales tax in order to lure shoppers to their business districts. These “Urban Enterprise Zone” towns also get state funds from the state sales tax, which come back to the districts for beautification and public safety projects.
Right now, towns in Hudson County like North Bergen and Union City already have UEZs, but neighboring towns with higher average per capita incomes, like Hoboken and Weehawken, do not.
This may change soon.
The matter may be irrelevant, as this year, Gov. Chris Christie froze those UEZ funds to urban towns … but a bill that passed in the general Assembly on Monday may also let Hoboken and Weehawken participate.
Assemblyman Ruben J. Ramos’ bill A2572 successfully passed the New Jersey General Assembly by a vote of 52-25-1.
This bill allows a municipality that is adjacent to two or more municipalities which are designated as UEZs, to receive assistance from the New Jersey Redevelopment Authority.
Assemblyman Ramos, a Hoboken resident, said, “This bill will offer a positive impact for both Hoboken and Weehawken, as both municipalities border two Urban Enterprise Zones. As the State experiences a budget crunch, we are excited by the prospect of additional funding for qualifying municipalities in the district.
“This legislation will be extremely beneficial for the City of Hoboken while we continue to advance legislation to designate the Mile Square City as an Urban Enterprise Zone,” he said.
The bill was passed by the Senate and now heads to the governor’s desk to be signed into law
Second suspect in JC teen’s murder arrested
JERSEY CITY – The Hudson County Prosecutor’s Office announced on Monday that a second suspect in connection with the murder of a Jersey City teenager earlier this month was arrested on Friday.
Hudson County First Assistant Prosecutor Guy Gregory said Albert Robinson, 22, of Park Street in Jersey City was arrested by authorities.
The victim, Jermaine Williams, 17, also of Jersey City, ended up in the Hudson River on June 5 after a gang-related confrontation. Williams was found shot in the abdomen when his body was retrieved from the river.
Joshua Robinson (relation to Albert undetermined), 30, of Jersey City was charged in Williams' murder as a suspected shooter.
Gregory said that $750,000 bail (cash only) was issued for Robinson by Superior Court Judge Kevin Callahan after Robinson appeared in court on Monday.
Summer Concerts on the Hudson to begin June 30 WEEHAWKEN – A n eclectic program of summer concerts returns to the Weehawken waterfront as the Hudson Riverfront Performing Arts Center, Inc. (HRPAC) presents “Summer Concerts on the Hudson” beginning June 30 at 7 p.m.
This series of free evening concerts will feature top artists from diverse genres, including Latin, Soul, Alternative Rock, Dance, Folk-Rock, R&B and more.
This year’s concert schedule includes: The Bobby Sanabria Big Band (June 30), The Sensational Soul Cruisers (July 14), The Alternate Routes (July 28), RumbaTap (Aug. 11) and Danielia Cotton (Aug. 25).
All performances take place at Lincoln Harbor Park on the Weehawken waterfront and begin at 7 p.m. Rain dates, if necessary, will be the following night after each scheduled performance.
For more information, directions, and late breaking concert news and updates, visit www.hrpac.org or call (201) 716-4540.
The Hudson Riverfront Performing Arts Center, Inc. (HRPAC) is a New Jersey nonprofit organization whose mission is to expand the arts in North Hudson and to create and build a regional performing arts center on the Hudson River waterfront in Weehawken. The series is sponsored in part by the Hudson Reporter.
Local kids can sign up for summer theater camp
UNION CITY – Carl Gonzalez, an award-winning playwright, director, and educator who serves as artistic director of the Park Performing Arts Center (ParkPAC), will take on a different role this summer as Summer Camp Director for ParkPAC’s first ever children’s summer camp.
An enthusiastic promoter of arts education, Carl has taught acting throughout New Jersey, including the Arts School in Newark (the nation’s first performing arts school), as well as the Performing Arts High School in Jersey City where he received the Merrill Lynch Outstanding Scholar award.
This summer he will take that experience to the Park School for the Performing Arts for a summer of fun and theater performing Disney’s “Beauty and the Beast.” The five-week musical theater camp runs from July 6th to August 12th. The camp will run Monday to Thursday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. and Fridays 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.
The camp is designed for fourth through eighth graders to learn new skills, make new friends, and increase confidence. The experience will culminate in a professionally produced musical in the historic Park Theater.
Registration is scheduled for Saturdays in June from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Park School for the Performing Arts, 3rd floor. For more information, call (201) 865-6980 or visit www.parkpac.org.