Public hearing on new road to Liberty State Park

The New Jersey Turnpike Authority will hold a public hearing in Jersey City at City Hall on Monday, June 22, on its design for a $10 million two lane road connecting Jersey Avenue to Phillips Street over Mill Creek, just east of the existing footbridge.
The public hearing will run from 5 to 8 p.m. Turnpike representatives will talk informally about the project from 5 to 6:30 p.m. with a brief presentation at 7 p.m. The public can speak after that. Public comments will be taken in writing until July 8. These should be sent to Sheri L. Malloy, P.E. Project Engineer Hearing Officer New Jersey Turnpike Authority P.O. Box 5042 Woodbridge, NJ 07095
Construction will last from spring 2016 to spring 2018.

Art House summer blowout

Art House Productions (AHP) will hold its Summer Blowout on June 26 from 8 p.m. to midnight to celebrate 14 seasons. This event will be held at Art House Productions, 136 Magnolia Ave. Jersey City, NJ 07306, adjacent to the Journal Square PATH Station. Tickets are $10 ($5 if you present The House of Atreus playbill at the door). You must be 21 or older to join.
The $10 admission includes food and drink. This year’s celebration is sponsored by Two Boots Pizza Jersey City. The event will feature live music by Drum and A Tantrum, Overlake, and The Defending Champions. As part of our Art House Summer Blowout, one lucky guest will win the Golden Ticket – a one year pass to all of Art House’s events (including The Snow Ball).
Wheelchair accessible entrance. Please direct additional accessibility requests in advance to (201) 915-9911 or email

Jersey City International TV and Film Festival holds summer blockbuster party

Back for its second year, the Jersey City International Television and Film Festival will host a Summer Blockbuster Party at Battello Restaurant on Tuesday, June 24 from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. with an evening highlighting some of the all-time great blockbuster movies. Stations featuring each of the movies will be setup throughout the room where you and other fans of your favorite movie can gather, network and pose for some cool pictures in costume. Admission includes complimentary drink, light appetizers, silent auction, 50/50 raffle and great music. Admission is $40 per person, and all proceeds go directly into funding seminars, workshops, and the main event, a three day film festival this coming Oct. 16-18.

Lincoln Park Farmers Market kicks off Sunday

Jersey City’s West Side Community Alliance (WSCA) announced this week that the Farmers Market at Lincoln Park will open this Sunday, June 21 and will run from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. every Sunday through Nov. 1. Located at the gazebo near the fountain, the Farmers Market provides locally-grown and locally-made food and products.
“Jersey City’s West Side residents will have nearby access for a second year to locally-grown and affordable organic fruits, vegetables, meats and other products difficult to find in a city market,” said Jodi Drennan, WSCA president. “WSCA established the Farmers Market at Lincoln Park as a way to bring fresh produce, baked goods, pickles, nuts, flowers and packaged foods to families who live on the West Side. In addition, varied entertainment, educational programs and wide-ranging activities make this market more than just another place to buy produce. It is a community gathering place where people come to meet and catch up.”
All the market’s vendors are within 300 miles of Jersey City. The market will offer produce and fruit from RH Farms in Hackettstown and Country Stand Farms in Closter; baked goods from Raritan Bakery of Edison and Elio’s Bakery and Grandma Downtown both in Jersey City.
Also available to shoppers are fresh cheeses, sauces and flatbreads from Tony’s Farm Table in Atlantic City; nuts and dried fruits from Gourmet Nuts and Dried Fruit in East Hanover; Greek olive oils and olive pastes from Grecian Organics in North Brunswick; and honey from Jersey Buzz in Newark. Jersey City’s Tap Root Organics will sell hand-made bath and body products. Peace Love Pops and Gia Gelato will be on hand to provide sweet treats.
On the first and third Sundays of each month, Cayena Columbian Street Food and Jersey City Wingery will be in attendance. On the second and fourth Sundays, market-goers will be able to purchase veggie burgers made with local ingredients from Jersey City Veggie Burger.
The market will feature family-friendly children’s activities sponsored by JC Families, and donations-based yoga from Yoga in the Heights. Every week, WSCA will sponsor a “Market Tent” that will host different visiting organizations and will sell reusable market bags donated by Honeywell for $10 to benefit WSCA and the market.
The Farmers Market at Lincoln Park is accessible to everyone in the diverse West Side community. EBT transactions will be accepted starting in July. The farmers also accept WIC & Senior FMNP vouchers. For additional information visit

HCCC recognized by business association

Hudson County Community College (HCCC) was one of just a dozen entities in New Jersey to be recognized by the New Jersey Business & Industry Association (NJBIA) with that organization’s “New Good Neighbor Award” for 2015 for the college’s new Library Building on Sip Avenue in Jersey City.
The award was presented to HCCC President Glen Gabert, Ph.D. along with Hudson County Executive Thomas A. DeGise (who was the nominator), NK Architects, and Hall Building Corp. at the NJBIA award luncheon on Friday, June 5 at Forsgate Country Club in Monroe Township.

An early morning swim in the Hudson River

Two men jumped into the Hudson River on Monday, June 15, telling the Jersey City police that they wanted to cool off.
The police patrolling the Exchange Place waterfront at about 3:30 a.m. said they saw two men swimming back to the dock. Friends apparently pulled them out of the water. The men, ages 19 and 21, were not charged with any crime, but the 19-year-old was sent to Jersey City Medical Center for treatment, police officials said.

Violence continues with two more murders; Fulop responds

Violence continued in several sections of the city over last weekend. Two people were reported murdered, and three more wounded in four separate shootings.
A 40-year old man was found dead as a result of gun shots on McAdoo Avenue on June 14. Another murder on Orient Avenue is also being investigated by the Hudson County Prosecutor’s Office.
Another man was wounded near MLK Drive and Union Street on Sunday. Two women were also apparently wounded in the same area on Sunday afternoon.
Mayor Steven Fulop responded to the reports in a post on his Facebook page.
“On a personal note even with all the budgetary, elections and media responsibilities I have as mayor, nothing bothers and pains me more than knowing that a life was taken because of gun violence,” Fulop said. “Knowing that a family is grieving because of the senseless loss of their loved one is always painful for me to see and feel – both as mayor and as a human being. As mayor, I am however compelled to put the recent shootings in context. This year to date there have been six shooting deaths in the entire city and two domestic violence (two shootings last weekend related to gang violence back and forth that we are close to solving).
“So prior to last weekend there were four shooting deaths through the entire year in the entire city and important to note we are trending better and safer than any city in the region (including New York City.) That said any number of shooting deaths is too many but these issues aren’t issues that are unique to Jersey City and the reality is they are issues that no city can only police their way to a solution on.
“We have hired 122 new officers and, yes, they are now assigned to walking posts as the new class joins this week but it does take a partnership with the community to make progress and an approach beyond just policing. Many of the issues have taken decades to get here and they won’t be solved by pure police. We continue to work hard and assign huge resources to the south side of the city as I want nothing more than to make tangible long term progress on this front. I am open to feedback always both good and bad because at the end of the day I work for you and we are not running from these challenges. We want to fix them.”

New IT training program for prisoner reentry

Mayor Steven M. Fulop and Hudson County Executive Thomas DeGise today announced a new, innovative IT Training program for both inmates and recently incarcerated individuals, as well as the at-risk population.
The training program, a first of its kind partnership for Cisco in New Jersey, is known as the Cisco IT Essential Training Course, and was developed in partnership with Cisco and the Hudson County Department of Corrections (HCDOC), the Hudson County Workforce Investment Board (WIB), the Jersey City Employment and Training Program (JCETP), and the Hudson County Community College. Program participants will receive information technology training, a workforce field that is in high demand, increasing their ability to find quality and lasting jobs. An American multinational technology company, Cisco designs, manufactures and sells networking equipment throughout the world.
With funding through the Second Chance Act, the Hudson County Department of Corrections will establish a computer lab at the Hudson County Correctional Center, and will develop a computer-based curriculum, in which instructors will teach students to break down and re-assemble computer hardware.
The program is scheduled to begin on July 13th and will be administered at the jail with expanded training facilities at the administrative building adjacent to the jail. A total of 60 participants will be able to receive the three-month training, which includes basic computer training, IT essentials, an entrepreneurship course, resume writing, career counseling and job placement assistance.
Program participants will be recruited through the Department of Corrections and the Hudson County Community Reentry Program (CRP). A Hudson County Community College instructor will work with Corrections and the reentry program to identify interested and qualified candidates for the training. All program participants must be county-sentenced or released, have attained a high school diploma or GED, and read at an eighth grade level.

Hudson County teacher of the year named

Hudson County Board of Chosen Freeholders have honored Danielle Savino-Garzon on being chosen the 2015-16 Hudson County Governor’s Teacher of the Year.
Savino-Garzon currently serves as an elementary school educator at the Michael Conti School P.S. No. 5 in Jersey City, where she also serves as a school leadership committee member, teacher leader, grade level representative, teacher mentor and stand in administrator. She has also served as Head Teacher and Coordinator of the district’s Bilingual Extended Year Summer Program K – 12.
She serves as Liaison between the Department of Education and the district’s PARCC assessment. She is also a liaison between the district’s Supervisors and the school’s Language Arts Department. She is active in supporting and encouraging fellow teachers and staff through continuing education, staff development and leadership roles. Ms. Savino-Garzon regularly presents ongoing professional development workshops and training in areas such as Language Arts curriculum, integration of technology in the classroom, and PARCC & Literacy Expectations Parent Workshops.
She has received numerous awards for her outstanding achievements in education including the Jersey City school district’s Teacher of the Year Award for 2014-15, several Grant Writing Awards, the NCUST Award for Excellence in Education in 2007, and the National Professional VIP Woman of the Year Award in 2015.

Hudson County: Click it ticket campaign a success

Hudson County Sheriff Frank X. Schillari announced this week the success of the Spring 2015 Click It or Ticket seat belt safety campaign.
“Wearing a seatbelt in a motor vehicle, regardless of age or seating position, increases the chances of surviving a crash by almost 75 percent,” said Hudson County Sheriff Frank Schillari. “Our officers were successful in stopping and enforcing seat belt laws throughout the county and I am proud of their hard work.”
Schillari went on to announce that during the camping, which lasted from May 18 – May 31, over 115 seat belt violation tickets were issued, including 10 for having unrestrained children in the vehicle. In addition, violations were also issued for cell phone usage, suspended licenses, uninsured driving, uninsured vehicles and speeding. The Sheriff’s Office made a total of 51 arrests during the campaign.
“Over the past six years we have seen a steady drop in the amount of seatbelt summonses issued,” said Schillari. “The cause of the decrease is not a lack of vigilance by our officers, it is because more people are simply wearing their seatbelts, proving the campaign has been a success.”

‘Melvin Santiago’s Law’ advances in the state senate

Legislation introduced by Assemblyman Carmelo Garcia (D- 32nd Dist.) that expands the scope of current law regulating security guards in New Jersey was advanced unanimously by the Senate Law and Public Safety Committee on Thursday, June 11.
The bill (S2977 in the Senate, sponsored by Senator Linda Greenstein), entitled “Melvin Santiago’s Law,” was named in honor of the 23 year old Jersey City rookie police officer killed by a suspect who grabbed a gun from a Walgreen’s security guard and opened-fire on Santiago in his police vehicle as he responded to the armed robbery.
The bill expands the scope of current law regulating security guards in this State. Under the “Security Officer Registration Act,” commonly referred to as SORA, security guards employed by security guard companies are strictly regulated by the Division of State Police. This bill extends SORA’s provisions to security guards employed by private companies. Specifically, under the amended bill, any person employed as an in-house security officer by a company that maintains a proprietary or in-house security function is required to register with the Superintendent of State Police and complete an education and training course. Under current law, only security officers who are employed by a “security officer company” that furnishes security services to other entities are required to register with the superintendent.
“Melvin Santiago was just beginning his career in law enforcement. His shooting was a grave tragedy,” said Garcia. “Security guards are hired by businesses to deter potential criminal activity and protect property. They are the first on the scene and, often, the first line of communication with the police.”

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