Hoboken seeks volunteers to grow Community Emergency Response Team

The City of Hoboken invites members of the community to join its 100-strong and growing Community Emergency Response Team (CERT). State-certified trainers will hold a series of free CERT classes this fall for up to 60 participants. Those interested in joining CERT can submit an online application at: http://hoboken.seamlessdocs.com/f/cert.
“Our Community Emergency Response Team is made up of residents who care deeply about their neighbors and community,” said Mayor Dawn Zimmer. “Joining CERT is a great way to get involved and to help make your community more resilient.”
Hoboken’s CERT volunteers have been recognized as “Community Preparedness Heroes” by FEMA, and CERT Coordinator Lou Casciano was honored as a Community Preparedness and Resilience “Champion of Change” by the White House.
CERT training promotes a partnering effort between emergency services and the people that they serve. The goal is for emergency personnel to train members of neighborhoods, community organizations, or workplaces in basic response skills. CERT members are then integrated into the emergency response capability for their area. CERT members also participate in assisting with large scale community events, staffing emergency shelters, and various other ways.
Participation in CERT requires the successful completion of a training course on a range of subject matter specific to emergency response and disaster relief.
All classes will be held at the Multi Service Center at 124 Grand Street starting at 9:30 a.m. sharp and concluding at 4:00 p.m. There will be a one hour lunch break between modules. The training schedule is as follows:
10/24/2015 – Disaster preparedness & Fire safety
10/25/2015 – Disaster medical operations 1 & Disaster medical operations 2
11/1/2015 – Light search and rescue operations & CERT organization
11/7/2015 – Disaster psychology & Terrorism in CERT
The final drill and exercise location and date will be announced during the class.
Participants must attend every module of training as well as participate in the final emergency simulation exercise in order to receive certification as a fully trained CERT Team member.
Upon completion of the training, each participant will be issued a CERT Member Emergency Kit.

Surveying work to begin this week as part of Washington Street project

On August 5, 2015, the City of Hoboken awarded a contract to engineering firm T&M Associates to develop the final design and construction documents for the resurfacing of Washington Street. In addition to repaving the roadway, the Washington Street “complete streets” revitalization project will also include modern traffic signals, streetscape improvements, green infrastructure for stormwater management, the replacement of century-old water mains, a fiber optic spine to facilitate enhanced Internet connectivity, and electrical conduit to advance the City’s microgrid project for energy resiliency.
In the coming weeks, residents and visitors will see employees and vehicles of T&M Associates’ sub-consultant, GEOD Corporation, performing land surveying activities on Washington Street. This is the initial step in developing the engineering plans, with construction anticipated to commence in 2016. Ground penetrating radar investigations consisting of GEOD staff pushing a cart-like wheeled device up and down the sidewalks and roadways will start this week. There will be no impact to the roadway or sidewalk except that some paint marks will be made by survey staff in the coming weeks.
Aerial photography will also be conducted to obtain topographical information that will be ground proofed by survey field crews once the aerial information is fully compiled. This aerial photography will commence this week. The field survey will start in approximately 2 weeks and is expected to last up to 4 weeks along Washington Street. Some parking restrictions will be posted to assist in this effort, but there should be no other impact or disturbance to residents or businesses.
The total surveying effort including GPR, aerial photography, and field survey will be completed within 6 weeks, which is on or around the week of September 14.

Hoboken non-profit to celebrate groundbreaking of Early Childhood Building Annex

Representatives from the United States Department of Health and Human Services (USHHS) will be in Hoboken this Tuesday, Aug. 18 to join HOPES CAP, Inc. in celebrating the groundbreaking of the Annex at the David E. Rue Building. The 4-story facility expansion will provide over 8,200 square feet of additional space for early childhood education and social service programs that were permanently displaced by Superstorm Sandy.
The $7 million project is being entirely funded through federal disaster relief appropriations from the United States Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Head Start, and will provide a permanent home for Early Head Start and Head Start programs in Hoboken. Upon completion, the expanded facility will include several new classrooms, a rooftop playground and environmental learning center, and other amenities to accommodate low-income Hoboken families with vital community services that work towards self-sufficiency.
Serving Hoboken since it was founded in 1964, HOPES is a Community Action Agency with the mission to provide community services that respond to the social, educational and training needs of individuals in an effort to overcome barriers and fight the causes of poverty. The project comes just one year after HOPES celebrated its 50th anniversary as an organization and Head Start provider in Hoboken and memorialized the 100th anniversary of the David E. Rue Building. The facility expansion honors both HOPES’ and the Rue Building’s longevity and permanent commitment to serving the most disadvantaged members of the Hoboken community with the highest quality of educational and empowerment services.
For more information, email info@hopes.org.

Mixed media exhibit to open in ’Boken

“Essence,” an art exhibition by Miriam Untoria and Katie Duffy McGeehin, will be open to the public from Aug. 14 through Sept. 13 at the hob’art gallery, Monroe Center of the Arts, 720 Monroe St., Room E208. The artists will present artwork in a variety of mediums including acrylic, mixed media, plaster, stone, and mortar.
Katie Duffy McGeehin is a sculptor who works in plaster, stone, and mortar. Her carvings of human figures are gestural and expressive. The figures are often dancing, embracing, or meditating. Ms. McGeehin’s freestanding sculptures focus on human interactions and connections to one another, to oneself, and to the earth.
A reception to meet the artists will be held on Saturday, Aug. 15, from 6 to 8 p.m. On Sunday, August 16, at 3:30 pm, the artists will discuss their works and will welcome questions from visitors.
Gallery information can be obtained on the website www.hob-art.org and from the director, France Garido, 201-319-1504 or director@hob-art.org. The building entrance is on 8th Street between Monroe and Jackson streets. Free parking is available at the rear of the building on Jackson Street.

Hoboken-born Bloody Mary mix hits shelves

Once upon a time, Hoboken’s most famous beverage was Maxwell House coffee, the smell of which carried through the entire town from its plant on Frank Sinatra Drive. If Christine Dodd and Ryan Grace have their way, the city will someday soon be known for its Bloody Marys instead.
The local couple have spent the past two years developing their own all natural, less sodium Bloody Mary mix, The Hoboken Mary. On Tuesday, they delivered the first four boxes of product to Cork Wine and Spirits on Washington Street.
According to Dodd, the lower amount of sodium—just over half as much per ounce as Mr. and Mrs. T—means enjoying more drinks while feeling less full and bloated. The Hoboken Mary is also fat free, gluten free, and low calorie.
However, skimping on salt doesn’t mean skimping on flavor. Grace is originally from New Orleans, and his mix has a tangy Cajun flair, fortified with horseradish, cayenne pepper, anchovies, and lime juice.
“I take my food and wine seriously,” said Cork founder Jay Emminger, “and this is the best Bloody Mary mix I’ve had.”
Dodd and Grace already have received orders from other Hoboken markets and restaurants, and they hope to someday expand throughout New Jersey and nationwide.
All that remains now is for someone to step up and develop a homemade Hoboken vodka.

Repairs to begin this weekend on Route 495 into NYC

After closing temporarily for repairs earlier this week, the Route 495 approach to the Lincoln Tunnel will undergo permanent repairs beginning this weekend, resulting in commuter delays.
The two right lanes on the I-495 east bridge in North Bergen were closed on Wednesday as crews began repairs on a damaged bridge deck joint. The work resulted in major commuter delays on Wednesday evening. All lanes reopened on Thursday morning.
The two lanes will be shut down again beginning Friday at 9 p.m. as permanent repairs commence. According to the Department of Transportation, work will continue until the repairs are complete. Commuters are advised to find alternative routes into New York City.

Hundreds of millions spent on scrapped ARC tunnel may go to waste

Nearly $1.2 billion from New Jersey taxpayers, users of the Port Authority’s toll roads, bridges, tunnels and airports, and from the federal government, has been spent on the so-far failed effort to expand rail access across the Hudson, and according to a story in The Record, hundreds of millions of dollars will be lost forever, spent on lawyers, environmental studies and other costs that will never be recovered.
The paper based its story on “new information obtained from the Port Authority, NJ Transit and other government agencies.”
Gov. Christopher Christie canceled a planned new rail tunnel known as Access to the Region’s Core (ARC) in October 2010, claiming New Jersey taxpayers would be unduly burdened with the cost of its construction. The project would have doubled train service between New Jersey and New York after it was to open in 2018.
So far, commuters and taxpayers have little more to show for the expenditures except a fleet of new NJ Transit trains and the rights to property that may become useful in the future. But that potential hinges on the fate of Amtrak’s unfunded plan to build its own tunnel under the Hudson.
The long-term effect of Christie’s cancellation became clear in recent weeks as a series of breakdowns and electrical failures near New York Penn Station repeatedly crippled train service in New Jersey at the height of rush hour.
Experts predict failures of this sort are likely to continue and worsen until new tunnels are built. The existing tunnels are 105 years old, and are deteriorating rapidly due to flooding from Superstorm Sandy, the story quotes Amtrak as saying.
New Jersey forfeited $3.3 billion in federal support for the ARC tunnel, money that was spent instead on transit projects in California and other states. Under the leadership of Christie appointees, the Port Authority redirected another $3 billion from ARC to road projects in New Jersey, including $1.8 billion to rebuild the Pulaski Skyway.
That decision is under investigation by the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office and the federal Securities and Exchange Commission as to whether bondholders were misled when told the New Jersey road projects would benefit the Lincoln Tunnel.
The roads in question are miles away from the tunnel.
Amtrak has proposed a project called Gateway that calls for a tunnel, a new train station next to Penn Station, a new rail yard in New Jersey, new bridges over the Hackensack River, and two new tracks between Newark and New York Penn Station.
But Amtrak must get financing for the project approved by the Republican-led Congress, which just passed a bill to cut Amtrak’s funding by $242 million.
Then Amtrak must start planning the tunnel almost from scratch, beginning with an environmental review that could take years.


The original version of the July 26 Hoboken Reporter article on the Hoboken Dual Language Charter School’s potential expansion into the Multi-Service Center incorrectly stated the amount of money the school pays in annual rent to the Boys and Girls Club of Hudson County for use of the Jerry Molloy Center. The figure is $109,000, not $338,608.

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