Heavy rain triggers flooding Sunday night
At least three inches of rain on the afternoon and night of Sunday, May 31 filled the sewers of northwest Hoboken, causing sewage-laden water to fill streets and damage several homes and businesses.
The flooding was at its worst in the area around the ShopRite at Ninth and Madison streets, which is even more low-lying than the rest of the northwest neighborhood, residents said.
The floodwaters were tinged with black, stinking sewage because Hoboken has a combined sewer system, meaning the storm drains and toilet pipes commingle underground. When too much rain falls in a short period, the whole system backs up, pushing unsanitary water onto the road surfaces.
On Monday, city crews used firehoses to spray sewage residue off some streets, but residents continued to complain about the lingering smell.
In an interview on Wednesday, Mayor Dawn Zimmer said Sunday night’s flooding underscored how important it was to move forward on the wet weather pumping station for northwest Hoboken, which will be built along the outfall for the H5 drainage area at Eleventh and Hudson streets.
In southwest Hoboken, which received a wet weather pump in 2011, Zimmer said she was “not aware of any property owners or businesses that got flooded.”
“Based on conversations with North Hudson Sewerage Authority, the pump for southwest Hoboken did its job,” said Zimmer. “The water did fill the streets, but the pump pretty quickly moved that water out of there, so we need to do the same thing in northwest Hoboken.”
The North Hudson Sewerage Authority has secured an easement for the section of Eleventh Street it will build the northwest pump station underneath, though the final price it will pay for the land has yet to be determined. Zimmer said she expected construction to begin soon after the July 4 holiday.
The northwest pump has seen some opposition from some residents of the Maxwell Place condo complex, which lies adjacent to its future location. They are worried about the future noise and smell of the pump and potential environmental contaminants its construction could release.
“I understand their concerns,” said Zimmer, “but it’s extremely important for the city as a whole that we move ahead with that pump.” Maxwell residents will have another opportunity to voice their interests at a community meeting this coming Monday.
Zimmer said other city projects like the Southwest Park scheduled to break ground in October and the putative Northwest Park, for which the city is currently in the process of procuring 6 acres, would help retain even more rainwater.
The Southwest Park will have a 200,000-gallon stormwater storage chamber, and Zimmer hopes the Northwest Park will have one that holds at least 1 million gallons.
Around 80 children currently on wait list for Hoboken public preschool
Roughly 80 Hoboken children are still waiting for placement in the public school district’s free preschool program for the 2015-16 school year, according to Brandt School Principal Sandra Rodriguez. Hoboken’s public preschool is fully funded by the state and statutorily required to be universal, based on a court ruling mandating that certain urban school districts achieve parity with those in the suburbs. However, only a limited number of classrooms can be funded based on the amount of state aid, and burgeoning demand had exceeded supply in recent years.
For the past two year, said Rodriguez, the district has been able to eventually seat every student on the pre-K waitlist due to enrolled children leaving Hoboken or not showing up in the fall, and she expressed hopes that everyone would get off the list this year.
Already, 25 of an initial 105 students who were waitlisted when preschool decision letters went on May 29 have been given placement, according to Rodriguez.
If, for some reason, there are not enough additional departures to make room for all of the students still on the 2015-16 waitlist, the Hoboken Public Schools have limited options available to accommodate them. Rodriguez said the district could feasibly hire the teacher and assistant teacher necessary for one additional classroom, but not for the six classrooms needed to cover all 80 students on the waitlist (pre-K classrooms are legally capped at 15 students).
According to Rodriguez, the Hoboken pre-K program has taken steps to cut administrative costs, but must deal with stagnant funding from the state. In fact, the state allotment for Hoboken’s 2015-16 pre-K program is projected to be $66,000 less than it was for 2014-15.
There are currently 52 classrooms for preschoolers in various buildings in Hoboken. They are run by the district and two private providers, Mile Square and HOPES CAP, Inc.
Rodriguez said district staff were making an effort to meet in person with the parents of every child on the pre-K waitlist and address their concerns.
Not many surprises in primary election results
Discouraged by soggy skies and a lack of competitive races, a mere 1,157 Hoboken residents voted in person in the June 2 primary for the Democratic and Republican nominees for Hudson County executive and state assemblymen for District 33, according to preliminary numbers released by the Hoboken City Clerk’s Office.
For the two Assembly seats in District 33, which includes Hoboken, Weehawken, Union City, and parts of northern Jersey City, Raj Mukherji and Annette Chaparro ran unopposed for the Democrats and Garrett Simulcik Jr. and Javier Sosa ran unopposed for the Republicans.
In Hoboken, Chaparro received 750 votes, Mukherji received 681, Sosa received 87, and Simulcik received 85, according to the preliminary numbers.
Mukherji is seeking his second term, and Chaparro, a Hoboken city employee, replaces current Assemblyman Carmelo Garcia, who was dropped from the Hudson County Democratic Organization (HCDO) ticket in March and declined to run off the line.
For the Hudson County Executive seat, incumbent Thomas DeGise ran unopposed for the Democrats and Ivan Sutherland ran unopposed for the Republicans. In Hoboken, DeGise received 720 votes and Sutherland received 82, according to the preliminary numbers.
Hoboken Democrats also voted for male and female committeepersons for the 40 electoral districts that make up Hoboken. As covered in The Hoboken Reporter two weeks ago, the 80-member committee will meet on Monday to pick the Hoboken Democratic Party chair for the next two years, a position coveted by some local politicos.
The vast majority of candidates for committeeperson ran unopposed on the HCDO line, which was picked by current Hoboken Democratic Party Chairman Jamie Cryan. The candidates Cryan picked were generally considered to be opposed to Mayor Dawn Zimmer and her allies.
Two races were contested. In District 5-3, Zimmer-affiliated off-line candidates Phil Cohen and Melissa Abernathy beat out HCDO candidates Vincent Rossi and Melissa Blanco, while in District 2-2, HCDO candidates Dylan Archilla and Susan Costomiris held off a challenge from off-liners Kenneth Nilsen and Katherine Prussack.
Zimmer-affiliated write-in candidates won committee seats in several districts where there was no candidate on the HCDO line. The write-in winners included Lon O’Sullivan in district 2-5, Stacy Mello in district 4-2, Patricia Kelly in district 5-2, and Zimmer herself in district 4-5.
There are bigger elections to come in town. The nominees for state Assembly and county executive will face off, along with nonpartisan candidates for Hoboken’s six City Council wards and three seats on the Hoboken school board, in the Nov. 3 general election.
Spring issue of Hoboken 07030 is out!
The Hudson Reporter’s lifestyle magazine, Hoboken 07030, is now available throughout the city. The spring issue features a young Frank Sinatra on the cover. The essay about Sinatra’s years in Hoboken also features a list of the many happenings celebrating the 100th anniversary of his birth. Other features include profiles of Stevens President Nariman Farvardin, gallery owner Al Barksy, CKO Boxing’s Joe Andreula, and JFK Stadium’s head custodian, Vinnie Johnson. On the entertainment front, 07030 takes a look at the many standup comedians who take the mic here in town and the bands playing at the new Maxwell’s. If you’re looking for things to do this summer, check out the calendar of events, as well as stories on the Viaduct and Pier 13—a great spot for a taco, a beer, and some summer reading.
Enjoy a night of dance to benefit the Hoboken Shelter
Every Little Movement Academy of the Arts (ELMAA) has created an exciting evening of dance to benefit the Hoboken Homeless Shelter. The program features performances by students ages 3-13 as well as professional guest artists. The performance will be held on Saturday, June 13 at 6:30 p.m. at the DeBaun Auditorium, located at 24 Fifth St. Call (917) 945-4064 for information and visit www.everylittlemovement.com for updates.
Founded in 2006 by professional dancer Francesca Todesco, Every Little Movement is a school of dance dedicated to teaching children and adults American Modern Dance. This year, Ms. Todesco’s students perform repertory works by Isadora Duncan, the mother of modern dance, including Dances of the Furies. Original works by Ms. Todesco showcase her students’ ability to express emotion through creative movement.
Joining the student performers will be guest artists from New York City. Thoughts in Motion Modern Dance Company will premiere a new work by artistic director, Rae Ballard, whose choreography the Village Voice described as a “dance-theater style which rests on the bedrock of Hymphrey-Limon-Sokolow aesthetics”. Featured works by Catherine Gallant, Alexandra Pfister and Gisele Assi round out this varied and exciting program.
Tickets are a $15 minimum donation, $5 for students and seniors, $10 for groups of 10+, and free for kids.
Tickets are available at the door, online at elmaa15.brownpapertickets.com, or over the phone at 1-800-838-3006.
Community invited to kickoff meeting for Rebuild by Design project
All members of the community are invited to attend a public kickoff meeting for the Rebuild by Design Hudson River project (Resist, Delay, Store, Discharge), which will be held on Tuesday, June 23 from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at the Babbio Center on the Stevens campus.
In attendance at the meeting will be representatives from the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, which is managing the project, the project consultant, and officials from Hoboken, Weehawken, and Jersey City. Following brief presentations with project updates, members of the public will have an opportunity to ask questions of representatives from the DEP, project consultant, and government officials.
“This has been an incredibly difficult week of flooding…I thank Carter Craft and Helen Manogue for their contributions in putting together a diverse group of more than 30 residents to serve on the Hoboken Citizens Advisory Group,” Mayor Dawn Zimmer said. The group is being co-chaired by residents Carter Craft, LaTrenda Ross, and Council President Ravinder Bhalla. The group will help to gather input from the community and provide feedback on the project, along with the entire community.
The Resist, Delay, Store, Discharge project will protect Hoboken, Weehawken, and northern Jersey City from flooding. The comprehensive strategy uses both hard infrastructure and soft landscape for coastal defense (resist), recommends policies to enable the urban fabric to slow down water (delay), and includes a green circuit to trap water (store) and water pumps to support drainage (discharge). The DEP will receive the $230 million in funding from HUD and is the lead State agency to plan, design and construct the project. The award is expected to fund the implementation of the “Resist” element of the strategy. Details of the proposal can be found at www.rebuildbydesign.org/project/oma-final-proposal.
Christ Hospital awarded American College of Radiology designation as lung cancer screening center
CarePoint Health – Christ Hospital has been named an American College of Radiology (ACR) designated center for lung cancer screening, making it the first facility to receive this designation in Hudson County, according to a CarePoint press release. The designation recognizes organizations for meeting the highest standards in providing safe, effective diagnostic care for individuals at the highest risk for lung cancer. CarePoint Health’s Department of Radiology, headed by Dr. Vivek Masson, provides comprehensive, state-of-the-art imaging services along with high quality, multidisciplinary care that includes collaboration with Chief of Thoracic Surgery Dr. Ziad Hanhan.
“Receiving this designation is a testament to the exceptional care provided here at CarePoint Health – Christ Hospital,” said Dr. William Holubek, CarePoint Health – Christ Hospital chief medical officer. “I commend Dr. Masson and the entire Department of Radiology for this amazing milestone.”
In order to receive this designation, facilities must have a prior ACR accreditation in chest module computed tomography (CT), and must adhere to comprehensive facility, safety, reporting, and counseling requirements put forward by the American College of Radiology.
New show at hob’art gallery highlights insects, imagination
Alison and Frank Pariso’s mixed-media exhibition, “Title,” will be open to the public from June 12 through July 11 at the hob’art gallery at the Monroe Center of the Arts, located at 720 Monroe Street, Room E208.
Alison and Frank are a married couple who moved to Hoboken from Boston and have since shared an interest in making art relating to living creatures. The artists share a similar subject matter, but with different aesthetics.
Alison is interested in observing insects in their natural habitat; she perceives them to be similar to the way humans go about their daily lives. She has learned about the incredible sophistication of insect communities that in many ways parallel human societies. Consequently, Alison has found herself projecting emotional and psychological qualities onto the insects and has been using them as surrogates for human experience.
Frank’s work can best be described as imaginative realism. He creates illustrative renderings of animals, humans, and other living creatures using a meticulous style of painting. The manner in which he paints lends itself to the unexpected realistic effect of each character. He is heavily influenced by the old masters as well as meaningful narrative. Each piece depicts a unique narrative, adding to the overall quality of the piece.
A reception to meet the artists will be held on Friday, June 12 from 6 to 8 p.m. On Sunday, June 14, the artists will discuss their works and will welcome questions from visitors.