Second place doesn’t sit well with mayor

Hot-off-the-press census data revealed on Thursday that Jersey City placed where it always does – second to Newark in size.
“We believe that we have been severely undercounted and will begin the process of challenging these results,” Jersey City Mayor Jerramiah Healy said in the media, citing a dozen new residential high rises that are home to thousands of residents.
The U.S. Census reported that Jersey City’s population grew by 3 percent over the past 10 years – from 240,005 in 2000 to 247,140.
Councilwoman Flood resigns; mayor appoints Ahmad to fill vacancy
Rumors that at-large Jersey City Councilwoman Willie Flood was planning to step down from the council have now been confirmed.
Flood, who has been ill, resigned from the council Thursday, according to a release from Jersey City Mayor Jerramiah Healy.
The mayor immediately nominated attorney Kalimah Ahmad to serve out the remainder of Flood’s term. The remaining members of the Jersey City Council must still confirm Ahmad’s nomination.
“I want to first thank Councilwoman Flood for her many years of service to the people of Jersey City,” Healy said Thursday shortly after Flood’s resignation was made official. “She has been a great advocate for the city and we are grateful for her hard work and dedication.”
Ahmad, who runs a private law practice, currently serves as assistant county counsel for Hudson County and counsel for Irvington’s Board of Adjustment and the Hudson County Schools of Technology Foundation. She is also the regional director of the Garden State Bar Association, and is a member of the Educational Arts Team Board of Trustees.
“Kalimah not only has an excellent resume and extensive experience as an attorney; she also has been active in her community for many years,” said Healy. “We believe that she is an excellent candidate for this important seat on the Jersey City Council and are hopeful that she will be confirmed.”
Flood was appointed to the Jersey City Council in 1990 as councilwoman at large and was elected to the position the following year. She served one term before leaving the council to run for mayor. Flood returned to the council in 2005 and won her at large seat again in 2009.
Saint Peter’s Prep swimmer mourned
On Tuesday, 18-year-old swimmer B.J. Giannone from Saint Peter’s Prep High School, who collapsed and died last week after a swim meet, was remembered in a ceremony at the school. “He taught me how to live and love more authentically,” swimming coach Ryan Heffernan said in a story reported by the Star Ledger. A friend, Douglas Payne, said, “I never knew B.J. to have a bad day.”

New Jersey City University students take longest to graduate

New Jersey City University students take longer to graduate than students in any other four-year college in the state, the Star-Ledger reported. U.S. Department of Education statistics reveal that only 6 percent of NJCU students graduated within four years in 2008; 34 percent graduated within six years. A public college, NJCU serves low-income students, immigrants, and undergraduates who are the first in their families to go to college. John Melendez, NJCU vice president for student affairs, told the Ledger that all these factors play a role in lowering the graduation rate. At Jersey City’s St. Peter’s College 33 percent graduated within four years in 2008 and 48 percent within six.
The best rate in the state? Princeton.

New principal named for St. Anthony

Former Hoboken High School principal Charles Tortorella has been named principal of St. Anthony High School in Jersey City. He replaces Mathew Glowski, who had served five years at the school. Tortorella, who has taught in Hudson County for most of his career, was chosen from a roster of about 25 candidates. Gloski and his wife Kathleen, the school’s former director of college guidance, will be honored on Feb. 26 at the Casino in the Park in Jersey City.

J.P. Morgan said to buy high-rise for $300 million

J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. has reportedly purchased Liberty Towers, a luxury rental complex in Jersey City with Hudson River views, for roughly $300 million, according to Crain’s New York Business. Rents at Liberty Towers range from $2,000 a month for a studio to $4,500 a month for the most expensive two-bedroom.

Final round of Martin Luther King Oratory Contest slated

On Monday, Feb. 7, finalists in the annual Martin Luther King Oratory Contest will square off at City Hall, according to Mayor Jerramiah Healy’s office. The event, sponsored by Bank of America, nets a $500 savings bond for the winning Jersey City student.
“Every year, the students who participate in the contest bring their awe inspiring perspectives on Dr. King that always impresses the community and peers,” the mayor said.

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