Liberty Humane Society gets two week reprieve
JERSEY CITY AND HOBOKEN -- The state Department of Health and Senior Services is giving Liberty Humane Society of Jersey City two weeks to clean up conditions described in a seven-page report detailing why the shelter has failed another state inspection, published reports said.
Earlier this month, the state gave the shelter, which has animal control contracts with Jersey City and Hoboken, one week to correct inhumane conditions observed during an inspection that allegedly found animals being kept in cages too small, leaky pipes and other maintenance issues, improper storage of food, insect infestation, and unacceptable sanitation conditions.
Residents and animal advocates have written to the Hudson Reporter recently, complaining about the shelter’s euthanasia policy; they claim animals have been put to sleep who could have been put up for adoption.
Last week, critics of the shelter, which recently had undergone leadership changes, set up a Facebook page to air complaints and try to save a series of dogs that they say are going to be euthanized shortly even though some people would like to adopt and/or rehabilitate them.
Built by volunteers eight years ago to handle the area’s strays, the shelter has had troubles and leadership clashes in recent months.
The Facebook page, “Liberty Humane Society Uncensored,” is located at http://www.facebook.com/pages/Liberty-Humane-Society-Uncensored/121665741216260.
Hoboken Fall Arts & Music Festival set for Oct. 3
HOBOKEN -- The 17th Annual Hoboken Arts & Music Festival will take place on Sunday, Oct. 3, from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Washington Street between Observer Highway and Seventh Street. The event is free and open to the public.
The event will include more than 300 artists, crafters, photographers, local businesses, restaurants, food vendors, and more, according to a city press release. A special children’s section will include rides and games.
The event will also feature three stages of live music, featuring performances by Loretta Hagen, Lorax, Care Bears on Fire, Erin Lee and Up Past Bedtime Band, and Guitar Bar Allstars. More bands are expected to be announced.
The city is encouraging visitors to take public transportation.
Vendor applications are still available for the event. Interested vendors should contact the Cultural Affairs Office at (201) 420-2207.
Gov. Christie fires Schundler from education post
JERSEY CITY -- Gov. Christopher Christie issued a statement Friday that he has fired state Commissioner of Education Bret Schundler, the former Jersey City mayor.
A NJ.com report said Christie fired Schundler Friday morning after Schundler “refused to resign” in the aftermath of the state losing out on $400 million in federal funds after a mistake was made on the application for the funds. In particular, Schundler was seen on a video showing him unable to give an answer to correct the mistake on the application.
Christie issued the following statement about Schundler’s dismissal:
“I was extremely disappointed to learn that the videotape of the Race to the Top presentation was not consistent with the information provided to me by the New Jersey Department of Education and which I then conveyed to the people of New Jersey. As a result, I ordered an end to Bret Schundler’s service as New Jersey’s Education Commissioner and as a member of my administration.”
Schundler, 51, was appointed to the state’s education’s commissioner post in March. He had previously served as Jersey City mayor from 1992-2001. Before he took over the education commissioner post, Schundler was the COO of Kings College, a private Christian college in Manhattan.
Schundler could not be reached for comment on his dismissal.
NJCU employee charged with stealing $167,000K in student funds
JERSEY CITY -- The N.J. Attorney General’s office announced Monday that a suspended office manager for the Student Government Organization at New Jersey City University (NJCU) was charged with second-degree theft by deception of $167,000 in student funds along with her husband..
According to the Attorney General’s office, Shanuette P. Ruffin-Moody, 48, of Jersey City, allegedly issued 80 unauthorized checks totaling $167,972.23 in the names of herself and her husband, Alex Moody, 51, between July 2008 and December 2009. On each check, she allegedly forged the signature of the associate dean who is required to sign SGO checks.
The SGO is a non-profit organization funded by student activity fees charged to students.
The unauthorized checks were discovered in July 2010, after several SGO checks bounced and Ruffin-Moody reported that the SGO had exceeded its budget. She was suspended without pay from her job as office manager after the suspicious checks were identified.
The second-degree theft charge carries a maximum sentence of 10 years in state prison and a $150,000 criminal fine. The charge is an indictable offense, so the case will be presented to a grand jury for potential indictment.
Man charged with bias intimidation
HOBOKEN -- A 22-year-old Wayne, N.J. man was arrested and charged with bias intimidation and simple assault after allegedly using a racial slur toward a black victim and striking the victim in the back of the head, according to a police report. The alleged incident took place at the taxi stand near the corner of Hudson Place and River Street at approximately 3 a.m. on Saturday, Aug. 28.
The victim told police he was waiting for a taxi when Mitchell Lares looked directly at him and allegedly yelled a racial slur. The report states Lares allegedly struck the man and grabbed the victim, and the two began to struggle. The police arrived on the scene and witnessed Lares allegedly throw the victim to the ground, according to the report.
The victim stated he did not know the attacker, and alleged that he was attacked simply because of his race, according to the report.
An on-scene witness came forward and gave the same account as the victim.
A second man with Lares, Philip Compesi, 21, also of Wayne, was arrested for disorderly conduct.
Girlfight on Washington Street leads to seven arrests
HOBOKEN -- It was a brawl unique even by Hoboken standards.
On Friday morning on Washington Street in the Mile Square City, which regularly sees its share of closing-time scuffles and sidewalk altercations, police broke up a “melee” involving women from nearby towns and arrested seven on a variety of disorderly conduct allegations, according to published reports.
Police on routine patrol shortly before 2 a.m. encountered a large group of loud and unruly “females attacking each other,” reports said, quoting officers as saying they tried to “release the hands of numerous females from others’ hair.” Other officers had to be called in off patrol to bring the situation under control, reports said.
When police got the alleged combatants under restraint and sorted out the various accusations, women from Hoboken, Jersey City and Secaucus, all in their early to mid-twenties, were arrested on charges ranging from disorderly conduct to simple assault.
Former municipal court chief judge gets probation for ticket fixing
JERSEY CITY -- The former chief judge of the Jersey City Municipal Court may avoid a 364-day prison term for fixing parking tickets if she successfully completes the terms of her probation, according to published reports.
Wanda Molina received the prison sentence and probation on Friday. She can ask that the prison term be dismissed if she completes probation, performs 500 hours of community service and pays restitution for the fixed tickets. She also can no longer work again for any public entity.
Molina admitted in June that she dismissed several tickets issued to a person authorities described as a close friend, according to the reports.