WSJ says investigation of Zimmer’s Christie claims has ‘fizzled’
Most New Jersey political watchers expect imminent indictments from the U.S. Attorney’s office in its year-plus investigation of the administration of Gov. Chris Christie, but according to a Wall Street Journal report, they will most likely not be related to Hoboken Mayor Dawn Zimmer’s early 2014 allegations that Christie officials pressured her to support a development project.
Citing individuals with knowledge of the probe, The Wall Street Journal said no interviews have been conducted with anyone in connection to Zimmer’s claims in almost a year. By contrast, The New York Times reported in early April that federal investigators had interviewed members of the Borough Council of Fort Lee, the town at the center of Christie’s Bridgegate scandal, “in recent weeks.”
Through her spokesman Juan Melli, Zimmer declined to comment for the Reporter on the status of the U.S. Attorney’s investigation for the time being. Zimmer has consistently eschewed public statements on the probe since last spring.
In January 2014, Zimmer told the media that high-ranking Christie officials, including Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno, had linked Hurricane Sandy relief aid for Hoboken to her support for a development project. The high-rise office project in question, proposed by the Rockefeller Group for three blocks of northern Hoboken, was represented by a Christie-linked lawyer at the time.
Guadagno and the other officials implicated have consistently denied the allegations.
According to the Journal’s sources, investigators didn’t find evidence to corroborate Zimmer’s claims. “There is no spotlight on this,” an individual involved in the Hoboken matter told the Journal.
Because they involve supposed threats made in private one-on-one conversations, Zimmer’s allegations may have proved harder than other Christie-related claims to corroborate, according to white-collar defense attorneys interviewed by the Journal.
Construction to begin on Observer Highway on May 4
Beginning around Monday, May 4, 2015, construction will begin on the Observer Highway complete streets redesign project, according to a Hoboken press release. The improvements along Observer Highway will include a full milling and repaving of the road surface, new synchronized traffic signals, and dedicated left turn lanes to create a more organized, efficient, and safer driving experience.
With the addition of the turn lanes and a protected two-lane bicycle track, the redesigned Observer Highway will shrink to only one car lane in each direction between Jefferson and Washington streets. Observer Highway’s two current parking lanes will be preserved.
“I am very proud that this project, fully-funded through grants, will create an attractive and safe gateway into Hoboken for drivers, pedestrians, bicyclists, and public transit riders of all ages and abilities,” said Mayor Dawn Zimmer. “While the main purpose of this project is to make the street safer, it will also have the benefit of reducing traffic delays along one of our busiest corridors.”
Between 2010 and 2012, there were on average 37 crashes per year along Observer Highway.
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.
“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,” said Menendez.
The roadway and sidewalks will remain open to cars at all times, and minimal work will be done on the roadway before 9 a.m. and after 4 p.m. to minimize any travel delays during rush hour. Some night work may take place during the milling and paving phases of construction in order to minimize traffic disruptions.
NJ Family magazine says Hoboken is worst for families out of 512 cities
Whether to start a family and whether to make the jump to the suburbs are difficult questions that every young couple in Hoboken must face. However, if New Jersey Family magazine is to be believed, the answers are quite clear.
In its April 2015 issue, NJ Family ranked Hoboken dead last among New Jersey towns and cities for its family-friendliness.
The “Best Towns for Families 2015” list ranked all 512 New Jersey municipalities with populations over 1,500. Hoboken fell behind Paterson (No. 411), Camden (No. 426), Atlantic City (No. 435), Trenton (No. 451), and Newark (No. 495).
According to NJ Family writer Vicky Valet, the ranking was based on “data for tax rates (NJ Division of Taxation), average home sale prices (NJ Division of Taxation), crime rates (NJ Department of Law and Public Safety), public school district rankings (Great Schools), median household income (U.S. Census), percentage of families with children under the age of 18 (U.S. Census), mean travel time to work (U.S. Census), number of restaurants (Yelp), number of hospitals within 10 miles (Health Grades) and number of grocery/convenience stores within 5 miles (Yelp).”
The article does not specify how these numbers are weighted to produce an aggregate rating of family-friendliness.
However they are combined, the methodology appears to disadvantage Hudson County. All 12 Hudson County municipalities appear in the latter half of the list, with East Newark the highest ranked locale at 360th.
Recently, Hoboken was named America’s hippest city, and attracts many families who enjoy its mile-square convenience, public transportation, waterfront parks, and school options.
Shop ’til you drop at the Hoboken Boutique Crawl this Sunday
This Sunday, April 26 from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., the Hoboken Boutique Crawl Shopping Extravaganza will return for its fourth edition, showcasing over 30 local boutiques. The most recent fall 2014 Boutique Crawl drew over 600 shoppers.
The boutiques will offer in-store raffles and 15 percent off discounts throughout their inventory. Participating businesses will be indicated by flying pink balloons outside their doors.
The Hoboken Boutique Crawl is free for all shoppers to participate. The boutiques ask that all crawlers wear something pink and take a beautiful stroll around town and shop ’til they drop!
For a full list of Participating Hoboken Boutiques and more information about the event please visit Hoboken Boutique Crawl’s Facebook page or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
UN and the Netherlands to honor Hoboken as Role Model City for flood response
Members of the Hoboken community are invited to attend a public ceremony where the city of Hoboken will be recognized as a Role Model City for its flood risk management practices.
On Tuesday, April 28 at 7 p.m. at Pier A Park, representatives from the United Nations International Strategy for Disaster Reduction (UNISDR) and the Kingdom of the Netherlands will present Mayor Dawn Zimmer with a Role Model City certificate honoring her administration’s comprehensive flood resiliency strategy. Last year, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development awarded a public-private strategy developed for flood prevention including the award-winning Rebuild by Design (Resist, Delay, Store, Discharge) project.
The UNISDR has designated Hoboken as a Role Model City of the Making Cities Resilient campaign. It is only the second such role model city in the United States; the first was San Francisco.
Learn to protect your nest egg at the Hoboken Historical Museum
The Hoboken Historical Museum, in conjunction with First Investors, will be presenting a financial seminar on “Riskonomics – What You Need to Know to Help Maximize Your Retirement Income.” The presentation will take place on Tuesday, May 12, 7 to 9 p.m. at the Hoboken Historical Museum, located at 1301 Hudson St.
Experienced financial planners will show you how you can potentially enhance your retirement income while helping to minimize risk. Come and hear the answers to the questions you should be asking about your future.
The seminar is free and refreshments will be served. Seating is limited so reservations are suggested. Free parking is available for the presentation at Little Man Parking, 2 12th Street, Hoboken (behind the museum). For additional information or to make a reservation, please contact Andrew Flores at 212-532-0144 ext. 3021 or email email@example.com.
Winners announced for Hoboken Earth Day poster contest
The city of Hoboken is proud to announce the winners of the Earth Day poster contest. The contest which was open to all Hoboken school children, received over 170 submissions and was judged by a panel of community members.
The overall poster contest winner is Calabro 2nd grader Samara Bruschi and the second place winner is Hoboken Charter School 3rd grader Sofia Zhang.
“Congratulations to the winners and to all of the students who participated,” said Mayor Dawn Zimmer. “I’m very proud of all of our students who have thought about ways to protect the Earth. I invite our community to view their posters at City Hall and the Green Fair.”
Winners in each participating school and honorable mentions were also selected and presented certificates by Mayor Zimmer. All of the posters will be on display in the lobby of City Hall, and the winning posters will also be displayed during the Hoboken Green Fair scheduled for Sunday, May 16 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. in Church Square Park.
Wallace Elementary School
School winner: Mila Gaglio (first grade)
Thomas G. Connors School
School winner: Adriel Clark (fifth grade)
Salvatore R. Calabro Elementary School
School winner: Samara Bruschi (second grade)
Honorable mention: Jean-Michel Ellameh (second grade)
Honorable mention: Azaryia Ladson (sixth grade)
Honorable mention: Jared Delarosa (sixth grade)
HoLa Hoboken Dual Language Charter School
School winner: Ines Carvalho (fourth grade)
Honorable mention: Joseph Branco Jr. (fourth grade)
Hoboken Charter School
School winner: Sofia Zhang (third grade)
Honorable mention: Tom Anderman (Kindergarten)
Honorable mention: Luna Cascetta (first grade)
Honorable mention: Molie Weil (second grade)
Hoboken Catholic Academy
School winner: Diogo Montalvo (fifth grade)
Honorable mention: Aidan Ward (fifth grade)