McGreevey defends new site for prisoner reentry
Former Gov. Jim McGreevey came under heated attack by members of the African-American community on Aug. 5 for establishing a new site for prisoner reentry at a church near Martin Luther King Dr. in Jersey City. McGreevey runs the city’s program for workforce development.
Community leaders had met to talk about the controversial site but did not invite McGreevey. When he showed up anyway, they asked him to leave so that they could air their objections.
McGreevey said he left in order to allow community leaders to discuss the matter, and also apologized for not making neighbors of the facility aware of the program’s new location.
The center, located in a former monk rectory, is scheduled to open in October and provide services to prisoners who have been discharged from jail, but who need help finding treatment for addiction, getting jobs or housing. The facility is to be open six days a week, but no one will live on site, McGreevey said.
Community leaders are concerned about having the program located at the former Sacred Heart priory while the building next door houses Sacred Heart School, a pre-k through 8 Catholic school.
McGreevey said a town meeting has been scheduled for 7 p.m. on Monday, Aug. 10 at Sacred Heart to allow residents and others to discuss the program.
He said he understood people’s concerns, but said that the program would actually make that part of the city safer because so many public safety people are involved with providing services.
“When we opened Martin’s Place on MLK Drive, it replaced an abandoned Ponderosa and Chinese restaurant,” he said. “People had concerns at first, but these were legitimately addressed. That site has been open an entire year and there has not been one incident. We have the same goals for Sacred Heart.”
He said the town meeting will address public’s concerns and detail what will be done to provide security, such as the installation of security cameras, and which public safety people will be located there. He said the number of parole officers, corrections officials, police and other law enforcement personnel will be extensive.
“Parents said children can’t walk from school to the local public library a block away without being afraid,” McGreevey said. “This site will provide much more security to the area, and this program will be hosting services that aren’t just for our clients.”
He said the site will help local residents sign up for healthcare, and will offer a variety of healthcare screenings in conjunction with a local federally-funded healthcare center on Garfield Avenue, as well as a number of cooperative programs for financial literacy.
“We’re bringing services to the entire community,” McGreevey said.
25-year old killed near McGinley Square
Kempton Cummings, 25, of Jersey City, was shot to death on Aug. 4 near McGinley Square, according to the Hudson County Prosecutor’s office.
There has not yet been an arrest made, but the investigation is ongoing, said Hudson County Assistant Prosecutor Gene Rubino.
JP Morgan expected to relocate 2,100 jobs to Jersey City
Confirming a rumor that had circulated earlier in July, JP Morgan & Co is expected to relocate 2,150 information technology jobs to Jersey City.
The company could receive as much $188 million in tax breaks over the next decade as a result.
The company is expected to relocate to 545 Washington Blvd. at some point in 2017.
Newport Centre hosts mini-career day
Newport Centre is hosting “When I Grow Up,” a mini-career day for Simon Kidgits Club members. This fun and educational event will take place in Center Court on Saturday, Aug. 15 from 12 to 2 p.m. All Kidgits members are invited to enjoy a variety of free activities and giveaways.
Sponsored by Hudson RehabSpa, Gymboree Play and Music and CarePoint Health, the Simon Kidgits Club “When I Grow Up” event encourages youngsters to be anything they want to be. With a variety of experts highlighting their professions, participants will learn about different types of careers. Children aged 3-8 are encouraged to participate.
Professionals from a variety of occupations will be on site to help educate and answer questions. CarePoint Health will provide a doctor who will discuss the daily responsibilities they face. Newport Dental Arts will teach the importance of dental care and New York Life Insurance Company will be offering free finger print identification cards. Furthermore, Hudson RehabSpa representatives will talk about the profession of physical therapy.
In addition to the health-related careers, Gymboree Play and Music representatives will offer tips about owning a business while providing a safe, fun place that features age-appropriate activities for families to engage in. There will also be professionals from Music Together providing a music demonstration as well as a specialist from Sephora offering free face painting.
The Simon Kidgits Club is a program that focuses on health, wellness, education, safety and entertainment for children ages 3-8.
Anyone interested in attending can sign up at the event to become a Kidgits member. The annual membership fee is $5 and offers children a variety of perks, including a Simon Kidgits Club T-shirt, membership card, birthday card and gift, discounts and regularly scheduled activities. For more information about the Simon Kidgits Club, visit www.simon.com/kidgits/.
For more information about Newport Centre visit www.simon.com/mall/newport-centre orwww.facebook.com/ShopNewportCentre.
Kayaking at the reservoir?
Mayor Steven M. Fulop and the Department of Recreation, in partnership with the Jersey City Reservoir Preservation Alliance, have announced two free days of kayaking at the Jersey City Reservoir in the Heights from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Sunday, Aug. 9 and Saturday, Aug. 22, while taking in the nature and tranquility of the Reservoir.
“The Jersey City Reservoir is one of our greatest natural assets and is a place for all residents to enjoy,” said Mayor Fulop. “Through free programming such as this, whether kayaking, fishing or nature walks, the Reservoir provides a great sanctuary and an opportunity for city residents to enjoy the beauty of nature.”
Several hundred residents are expected to attend both days, and no prior registration is required. To make the event possible, the Jersey City Reservoir Preservation Alliance, a 501c3 nonprofit, through the Hoboken Cove Boathouse, has donated 12, two passenger kayaks to be used each day. The American Canoe Association is also a sponsor of the event.
Life jackets and paddles will also be provided and participants must only show proof of residency. A signed waver is required for participation, and those under the age of 18 must be accompanied by an adult. Personal kayaks are not permitted.
“The Jersey City Reservoir Preservation Alliance is excited to have kayaking again this year at the Reservoir,” said Stevie Latham, President, Jersey City Reservoir Preservation Alliance. “We expect about 300 people of all ages and backgrounds at each event, many of whom have never had a boating experience before. We’ve had great support from the city and the Recreation Department and are looking forward to getting people out on the placid waters of the Reservoir, surrounded by the sounds and beauty of nature.”
In addition to kayaking, the Recreation Department offers fishing and nature walks at the Reservoir weekdays May through October from 3 p.m. to 8 p.m. and Saturdays 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Fishing equipment and instruction is provided by Recreation Department staff. Many Jersey City public schools and summer camps also visit the Reservoir for fishing, nature walks, and class projects.
Bookmobile to be stationed at Newark Avenue pedestrian mall
For downtown residents who use the main branch of the Jersey City Library, the Bookmobile will be available on alternative Fridays at the Newark Avenue Pedestrian Mall near Grove Street.
The Bookmobile will be stationed within the blocked-off green area whenever its schedule is at or near Erie Street.
Port Authority Police arrest driver at Holland Tunnel
Efraim M. Nussbaum, 23, of Lakewood was charged with Unlawful Fleeing Police in a Motor Vehicle, Reckless Driving, Reckless Endangerment and Aggravated Unlicensed Operation of a Motor Vehicle after he allegedly fled from police near the Holland Tunnel, according to Port Authority police.
The police said that about 1 a.m. on Aug. 6, a Port Authority police officer observed a black, 2015 Infinity SUV ignoring lane markers and changing lanes in the south tube (eastbound) of the Holland Tunnel.
In an apparently attempt to escape the police, the Infinity rammed a Toyota Camry, at which point the SUV’s airbags deployed.
The driver was trapped in the vehicle and Port Authority Tunnel and Bridge agents responded and extricated the driver. The driver of the Toyota was a 33 year-old man from Queens, NY. He was removed to Bellevue Hospital after complaining of breathing difficulty and back and neck pain.