The city will host a Veterans Day ceremony on Wednesday, November 11 at 11 a.m. at Elysian Park near 11th Street and Frank Sinatra Drive.
The brief service honors Hoboken’s veterans and those currently serving in the armed forces.
Resident calls out council president for ejecting two mayoral opponents from meeting
During the City Council meeting on Wednesday, Nov. 4, a Hoboken resident referred to City Council President Ravi Bhalla as a “disgrace” for throwing out two residents during the last meeting on Oct. 21. The resident used language that Bhalla had used against a critic at the previous meeting.
The two residents who were ejected two weeks ago — Perry Belfiore and David Liebler — were ordered physically removed from the meeting by Council President Bhalla after they made comments about Mayor Dawn Zimmer’s husband, Stan Grossbard. The comments stemmed from media reports earlier that day that Grossbard had emailed several members of the Hoboken Housing Authority Board of Commissioners years earlier with apparent strategies to get rid of the head of the housing authority, a mayoral opponent. The emails had just come out as part of the housing authority head’s ongoing lawsuit against the mayor.
When Belfiore and Liebler made comments at the meeting about what was in that day’s articles about Grossbard, police escorted both men out of the council chambers.
Hoboken resident Elizabeth Adams attended this week’s meeting and addressed the decision to remove the residents from the last one.
Bhalla had said during the removal of the residents that Grossbard is a private citizen and therefore not subject to public comments.
“I do not believe this is the real issue,” said Adams during the meeting in regard to Bhalla’s claims that he was defending Grossbard as a private citizen. “Rather it is quite evident that you censored Mr. Belfiore and Mr. Liebler in an attempt to suppress their right to express their opinion and therefore suppress their right to freedom of speech.”
Adams referred to the fact that Bhalla had called Liebler a “disgrace” when he Liebler asked why he was being escorted out.
“I would suggest that you are the true disgrace,” Adams said, using Bhalla’s own term against him. “There, I just expressed what is my opinion which is non-profane and my constitutional right of freedom of speech.” She then asked if she would be thrown out. She was not.
After the meeting, Bhalla refuted Adams’ claims.
“That’s not correct [that I disagreed with the content of their speeches],” said Bhalla. “I took a content neutral approach. Specifically. I indicated that if somebody had started disparaging my wife, or Councilman [Michael] Russo’s wife, I would not permit that. and Councilman Russo actually agreed with me with that approach.”
Russo and Bhalla are often on opposite political sides.
“They were not ejected because of the speech, but because they subsequently began to act in a disorderly manner and if anyone acts in a disorderly manner, it is my obligation as the presiding officer to have them removed so we can run an orderly meeting,” he added.
World of possibilities at 35th Annual Hoboken Artists Studio Tour this weekend
The 35th Annual Hoboken Studio Tour officially kicks off its big day on Sunday, Nov. 8 from Noon to 6 p.m.
In addition to photography, the tour will feature musical performances, glass and sculpture work, “wire art,” illustrations, acrylic and canvass paintings, mixed media work, “paper cut art,” design work and poetry.
“It will be fantastic to see the whole community come together to celebrate the creativity of Hoboken residents and other local artists,” said Bruce Meberg, who will be displaying abstract paintings at the Monroe Center and ZenSpa Studios.
Although there are numerous stops along the tour, the Neumann Leathers building and Monroe Arts Center will host among the larger galleries, with countless studios and schools also participating.
Art aficionados are encouraged to trace their course on the tour map prior to the tour, which is designed to be “walkable” so locals can head from gallery to gallery. A free map for attendees is available at www.hobokenj.org or on the day of the tour at City Hall, at 94 Washington St. between First and Newark streets.
“I love the Hoboken Artists Studio Tour,” said tour organizer Geri Fallo. “There are always great group art exhibitions at Neumann Leather Building and Monroe Center as well as the artists’ studios there being open to the public. But I also love to explore the individual artists’ spaces that are off the beaten track as I walk around Hoboken. You never know what fabulous gems you may discover.”
All Saints Episcopal summit spotlights harm of cigarette butt litter
With a goal to spotlight the ideas of some of the mile square city’s youngest residents, the All Saints Episcopal Day School held their eighth annual Leadership Summit on Thursday, Oct. 25 with a theme that focused on stamping of cigarette butt litter in Hoboken.
The independent school in Hoboken has over 250 students from nursery to eight grades. The annual summit recognized October as the Month of the Young Adolescent (MOTYA).
“MOTYA empowers students to explore an idea and create a presentation for the adult community that is thoughtful and convincing,” said Amanda Dillon, middle school teacher and MOTYA team leader. “Watching adolescents passionately research a topic, find their own voice, and share that voice with the larger community is what I love most about this month.”
During the event fifth-graders read “letters to our leaders” in recognition of the town’s firefighters, clergy, paramedics, police officers, active military, veterans and others. Sixth graders also presented a stop-motion video honing in on the harms of cigarette butt litter, while eight graders presented a speech to push for non-smoking at parks, playgrounds and add receptacles to business districts.
“It always amazes me how gracefully the students are able to walk that fine line between childhood and adulthood that we expect of them every day. They express such adult aspirations and concerns, and yet can still admit that they are afraid of the dark,” said Libby Vino, who is one of the founding teachers of the Middle School at All Saints in a statement.
Homeless man dozing at McDonald’s arrested for allegedly possessing marijuana
A 29-year-old homeless man was arrested early Friday morning on Nov. 6 with a “multi-colored package with an elf on the front” that allegedly contained marijuana, a press release by the Hoboken Police Department said.
Vincent Sadrak was asleep at the city’s McDonald’s on Washington St. at 2:30 a.m. when officers noticed he had a bag with a front label that said, “MG next generation herbal potpourri,” according to the press release provided by Sergeant Edgardo Cruz.
Sadrak said he was given the items by a friend before officers arrested him, police said.
According to the press release, during processing at headquarters, it was discovered that Sadrak had five warrants in several municipalities: one in Newark for $1,500 and 10 percent option, one in Hillside for $500, one in Union for $200 and two in Hoboken for $2,000.
Sadrak was charged with possession of drugs, possession of drug paraphernalia and outstanding warrants. He remanded to the Hudson County Correctional Facility.
Hoboken University Medical Center nurses reject CarePoint contract
Close to 400 nurses at the Hoboken University Medical Center “overwhelmingly” shot down CarePoint Health’s final contract offer during a meeting on Thursday, Oct. 29.
The nurses, represented by JNESO District Council 1, did not feel the contract met their needs in particular surrounding patient care issues and their own health care options, according to the labor union’s website.
“The union was disappointed that after months of negotiating, the hospital’s terms were not acceptable for our members and our members’ families,” said Executive Director Doug Placa, JNESO District Council 1 in a statement online. “This contract asked too much from our members, particularly on issues surrounding patient care.”
As both sides head back to the negotiating table, Place said he hopes they can come to an agreement and “not sacrifice the safety of the patients, our nurses, or the general public to do it.”
Story time at the museum
The Hoboken Historical Museum will host an “Uptown Story time” on Nov. 19 at 10 a.m.
Librarian Penny Metsch will share stories with children ages 2 to 5 and their caregivers. The museum is located at 1301 Hudson St. Call 201-656-2240 for information.
Stevens’ rejoices in Solar Decathlon victory
Stevens Institute of Technology celebrated their first place victory at the 2015 US Department of Energy Solar Decathlon on Wednesday, Nov. 4 with the help of Mayor Dawn Zimmer.
Following a week-long competition at Orange County Great Park in Irvine, California last month, a panel of judges crowned Stevens’ SURE HOUSE among 14 homes (from all over the world). The SURE HOUSE was recognized as the most energy efficient and designed as a net-zero energy home able to withstand hurricane-force winds and flooding.
The more than 30 students and faculty said a major point of inspiration for the SURE HOUSE was the impact and aftermath of Superstorm Sandy on the mile square city.
“We need everyone to have a SURE HOUSE. The work being done is making a huge difference,” said Mayor Zimmer in a statement on the Stevens website.
The Stevens team was also recognized with a proclamation during the City Council meeting on Wednesday, Nov. 4.