Two council candidates drop out

City Council candidates Richard Tremitiedi and Dave Carty removed their names from consideration just prior to a ballot position drawing last week. Six mayoral candidates remain, as do 12 candidates for the three open at-large council seats. The deadline to register to vote in the election is April 21 and the election itself will be held on Tuesday, May 12.

Picardo loses battle for post-construction zoning, will appeal

A zoning application that would have retroactively allowed a home expansion for former Tax Collector Louis Picardo was denied last week, just barely. The vote in favor of the variances was 4-3, but five votes were needed.
Picardo expanded his house on Castle Point Terrace last year without the proper permits, due to an interim city official’s error. Neighbors protested the addition on the house.
At the final hearing Thursday, Zoning Board Chairman Dominic Lisa and Commissioners Jose Ponjoan, Alex Corrado, and Randal Underwood voted to allow variances that would have given Picardo retroactive permission for the expansion that was completed last year. When a stop work order was rescinded last year, a judge told Picardo that he would continue to build at the risk of having to tear down the structure if his application failed. Last night, the application failed.
Grace Bertone, attorney for Picardo, said after the meeting that there is a “100 percent” chance that they will appeal the case.
The Zoning Board will produce a resolution summarizing their denial at an upcoming meeting. Then, Bertone can appeal based on those grounds.
Commissioners Murray Fusco and Joseph Crimmins were absent from the hearing, so alternate members Mike Novak and Tony Soares voted in their stead. Both Soares and Novak sided with Commissioner James Perry in denying the application. Lisa and Underwood came under question during the proceedings since they have their taxes done by Picardo’s firm, but both were comfortable voting on the measure and maintained that neither had a conflict of interest, a decision board attorneys left up to them to decide.
Ponjoan said at the meeting that the city made a mistake in issuing the original zoning approvals and that Picardo shouldn’t be held accountable for a mistake a zoning official made.

Free ice cream

On Tuesday, April 21 from noon until 8 p.m., Ben & Jerry’s at 405 Washington St. is offering a free ice cream cone in exchange for a donation in the amount of your choice to benefit the children at The Jubilee Center of Hoboken. The center is an afterschool and summer safe haven for children in Hoboken’s public housing neighborhood, a neighborhood with a history of gang activity, violent crime and drug-related arrests. The center provides quality afterschool programming for over seventy students from K through 6th grade from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. during the school year and from 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. during the summer.

Tax break on new car purchase

The Internal Revenue Service announced last week that taxpayers who purchase a new passenger vehicle this year may be entitled to a deduction on the purchase on their 2009 tax returns. The deduction is limited to state and local taxes and excise taxes paid on up to $49,500 of the purchase. Taxpayers are eligible for the deduction based on gross income. For more information, please visit www.irs.gov.

Lincoln Tunnel 5K for Special Olympics

The 23rd Lincoln Tunnel Challenge 5K Fun Run/Walk for Special Olympics New Jersey is scheduled for April 26. The underwater race will begin at the south tube of the Lincoln Tunnel in Weehawken and continue to New York City and back. Competitors with 5K times of under 25 minutes will begin at 8:45 a.m.; all other competitors begin at 9:15 a.m. For more information, please call (609) 896-8000 or visit www.sonj.org.

Scholarships for NJ students

Enterprise Rent-A-Car and the Statewide Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of New Jersey will provide financial aid for seniors in need of help with their tuition. Students who are currently enrolled in a four-year college or university; will be a senior as of Sept. 2009 in the state of New Jersey; and are majoring in business administration, marketing, or accounting with a minimum grade point average of 2.5, can qualify. Three winners will be selected for a scholarship/internship. Each will receive a paid internship at Enterprise Rent-A-Car and $2,000 to be put toward their college education. Applications are being accepted now, and winners will be selected in summer 2009. To apply, contact Lakin at (973) 709-2361 or carol.s.lakin@erac.com.

Boathouse sets summer schedule

The Hoboken Cove Community Boathouse (HCCB) announced their summer 2009 schedule for Kayaking Days at the Maxwell Place Park Cove, Sinatra Drive, and Maxwell Place. The boathouse will offer public programs on the following dates: June 7, June 14, July 11, July 25, and Aug. 15.
Kayaking Days are free, open to all, and require no reservations. HCCB is currently supported by voluntary help and borrowed kayaks and equipment from the Downtown Boathouse in Manhattan. Trained kayakers will be on-hand to provide tips for new paddlers.
All programs are tentative based on weather and water conditions, and are subject to cancellation. For the latest information on Hoboken Boathouse programs, e-mail info@hobokencoveboathouse.org, visit the website, or join the group on Facebook.

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