Fired Hoboken cop loses appeal before Civil Service Commission

The New Jersey Civil Service Commission upheld Hoboken’s termination of Police Lt. Angelo Andriani in a ruling issued February 4. Andriani gained infamy as the central figure in a series of photographs of Hoboken police officers carousing with the female employees of a Hooters restaurant and allowing the women to hold their weapons while on a Hurricane Sandy relief trip to Louisiana in 2006.
Photos of Andriani wearing a napkin with eye-holes on his head, allegedly as a crude imitation of a Ku Klux Klan hood, were also publicized. Andriani claimed that the napkin had no racial implication and was a reference to a Robin Williams skit.
The Civil Service Commission upheld charges of failure to perform duties and conduct unbecoming a public employee against Andriani relating to these photos. Andriani has since appealed the Commission’s decision to state appellate court, continuing his legal fight to be reinstated.

New restaurant roundup: Lobster rolls, juice, stir-fry, Sinatra

Several recently announced or opened establishments are bringing new flavors into Hoboken’s bustling restaurant scene. Though many long-standing restaurants and bars have recently departed the city, citing rising rents, parking woes, and changing demographics, a host of entrepreneurs are more than happy to take their places, offering the diverse fare that appeals to modern Hoboken.
Blue Eyes Restaurant and Café, the first new vendor to occupy the Sinatra Park café building since 2011, will open fully on Sunday, April 19, following a soft opening event scheduled for Friday, April 17. Blue Eyes is an Italian eatery and café boasting a wood burning oven which will offer pizzas, coffees, wine, and beer.
Buddha Press opened its first-ever location at 322 Washington St. this past month. The juice and smoothie bar is the latest endeavor of Derek Axelrod, the former owner of Manhattan Mexican restaurant Teqa, and will open a second location on Long Island soon.
Next month, popular New York-based lobster roll eatery Luke’s Lobster will open its 14th brick-and-mortar outlet at 207 Washington St. After seeing the demand and interest generated by visits of its lobster roll food truck, Nauti Mobile, to Hoboken’s Pier 13, Luke’s decided to open a permanent location. The store also serves crab and shrimp rolls and lobster grilled cheese.
Later this summer, Philadephia-based stir fry and salad joint Honeygrow will open its fifth location at 120 Washington St.
In the fall, Del Frisco’s Grille will open in Waterfront Corporate Center III, the new South Waterfront office tower located at 221 River St.

Observer Highway redesign construction to start Monday

Beginning on or about Monday, April 27, 2015, construction will begin on the Observer Highway complete streets redesign project. The improvements along Observer Highway will include new synchronized traffic signals and dedicated left turn lanes that will create a more organized, efficient, and safer driving experience. Between 2010 and 2012, there were an average of 37 crashes per year along Observer Highway. The new design will reduce traffic delays and prevent collisions. Along with these essential changes, the Observer Highway and Vezzetti Way corridor will be converted to a more pedestrian-friendly street with new, redesigned crosswalk signals and other pedestrian safety improvements as well as a two-way protected bike lane.
The project, which will also include a redesign of a portion of Newark Street later this year, costs $2.7 million and is completely funded by grants. The majority of the funding was secured by Senator Robert Menendez through a $2 million Congressional earmark for Observer Highway and a $240,000 earmark for Newark Street. Hoboken was fortunate to have access to these funds as cities across the United States are now no longer afforded Congressional earmarks.
“Having too often been stuck in traffic myself on Observer Highway, I know what these much-needed upgrades will mean to such a vital corridor in and out of Hoboken. Complete streets accommodate the needs of all roadway users—not just drivers—and this project will help improve the quality of life for residents, make the city more welcoming for visitors and help local businesses grow,” said U.S. Senator Bob Menendez. “That’s why I fought for and secured $2,240,000 in federal funding for the project.”
The combined Observer Highway and Newark Street project is being managed by Hudson County.

Historical Museum hosting afternoon of poetry to celebrate state’s 351st birthday

Last year the Hoboken Historical Museum and CavanKerry Press hosted “Something Old, Something New (Jersey),” a celebration of our state’s rich poetic heritage in honor of the state’s 350th birthday. New Jersey boasts such a wealth of poetic talent, that this year there will be a second installment on Sunday, April 19, at 3 p.m. All are welcome.
This two-hour public event will feature 10 contemporary New Jersey poets reading poems written by iconic NJ poets, as well as a poem of their own. The iconic poets include: Stephen Crane, Toi Derricotte, Maggie Estep, W.S. Merwin, Bob Rixon, Ntozake Shange, Patti Smith, and C.K. Williams. The contemporary readers at the event will be Renee Ashley, Teresa Carson, Reg E. Gaines, Carmelo Garcia, Frank Messina, James Richardson, Magdalena Alagna Schmidt, Danny Shot, Joe Weil, Gretna Wilkinson, and the 2015 NJ Poetry Out Loud State Champion.

Join Hoboken & Stevens Institute of Technology to end sexual violence

Take Back The Night is an international event and non-profit organization committed to ending sexual violence in all forms, including sexual assault, sexual abuse, dating violence, and domestic violence. Supporters can join together and bring awareness to sexual violence through events held in more than 30 countries annually, including marches, rallies and vigils intended as a protest and direct action against rape and other forms of sexual violence.
CarePoint Health and Stevens Institute of Technology have united to support this movement and invite you to join us on April 21, 2015 to Take Back the Night. They will march on Stevens campus to Pier A, where supporters will participate in chants and a moment of silence, and hear speeches from survivors of sexual assault.
You are welcome to meet directly at Pier A at 7 p.m.

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