Freezing temperatures on the way; here’s where to warm up

Temperatures this weekend are expected to dip to as low as 3 degrees. The National Weather Service has issued a wind chill advisory. Anybody looking for a warm place in Hoboken can head to the Hoboken Homeless Shelter, located at 300 Bloomfield St., or the Wallace School (1100 Willow Ave.). The Wallace School will be open from Friday, Feb. 12 at 7 pm. through Sunday, Feb. 14 at noon.
St. Lucy’s Emergency Shelter, at 619 Grove St. in the southern border of town, is also taking people in.
The county’s warming center in Kearny provides overnight shelter for homeless individuals during the extreme winter months. This plan runs continuously through March 31, regardless of temperature. The homeless are picked up at two separate locations and provided with food, showers, and shelter at the facility. The pickup locations include the Hoboken Homeless Shelter and Jersey City’s Taxi Stand, on Sip Avenue at 10 p.m.
If you are homeless or know someone who is homeless and needs assistance, the number to call is 1-800-624-0287. Read the briefs in The Jersey City Reporter (hudsonreporter.com) this weekend for additional locations.

Seventh annual Chili Cook-off & Homebrewing Contest

Chili, beer, and a competition in the name of charity all await at Hoboken Volunteer’s seventh annual Chili Cook-Off & Homebrewing Contest on Saturday, Feb. 20.
“We are excited to benefit True Mentors in our seventh year as they are providing an invaluable service to Hoboken’s youth community,” said Tim Occhipinti, former 4th Ward councilman and founder of Hoboken Volunteers. “With the support of our contestants, patrons, sponsors, volunteers and businesses we are looking forward to another great event.”
True Mentors, a non-profit organization, work to counsel children between 7 and 17 years old. Through the program, young boys and girls partner with an adult role model to explore their true potential.
“Our annual goals can only be reached with the support of the wonderful community of Hoboken, including Hoboken Volunteers, which has always provided us with wonderful volunteers and funds to continue to build our organization” said Jen Johnson, Board Director of True Mentors.
Cookoff organizers encourage patrons to come hungry, promising unlimited chili and beer samples. Live music from Gravy Train is also on tap.
A panel of judges, which includes Mayor Dawn Zimmer, Tony Boloney’s owner Mike Hauke, and House of Que’s pit master Mike Rodriguez, will crown the best chili and beer in town. Attendees will also crown their own winners.
The homebrew champ will win the opportunity to brew with Hoboken’s own 902 Brewing on a commercial brewing system.
Last year the cookoff raised more than $12,000 for In Jesus Name Charities.
In the upcoming year True Mentors aims to hire a full-time paid executive, match more than 50 children with mentors, hire 15 teens for local paid internships and reach hundreds of children through workshops, events and field trips.
The event will be held from 2 to 6 p.m. at Our Lady of Grace, located at 422 Willow Ave.
Businesses interested in sponsoring the event should email Amanda at dontsithome@gmail.com. Tickets for the cook-off/contest cost $40 and come with chili, beer samplings and a commemorative glass on first come first serve basis. Tickets are available at hobokenvolunteers.com or on the day of event at the door.

Love songs at the library

In honor of Valentine’s Day, acclaimed New York singer-songwriter Sheri Miller will perform love songs at the Hoboken Public Library on Thursday, Feb. 18.
Miller will perform her original soulful love tunes, as well as classics from the Beatles, Patsy Cline, Sam Cooke and Johny Cash.
The library is located at 500 Park Ave.

Three Board of Ed members attempt to end HoLa lawsuit

Three Hoboken Board of Education members took a stab at ending a lawsuit against the Hoboken Dual Language Charter School (HoLa) that has been going on since 2014.
Board trustees Peter Biancamano and newly-elected members John Madigan and Britney Montgomery voted to halt the suit, which is currently at Appellate Court level. Some residents complain it has cost thousands in taxpayer money for legal fees.
In 2014, the “Kids First” school board majority sued the state to stop the expansion of HoLa, saying charter schools take too many resources away from the other public schools including siphoning off budget monies.
The charter school controversy has split Mayor Dawn Zimmer’s voter base in the past. Zimmer, whose children attended charter schools, did not support the lawsuit when it was filed.
“I’m voting yes so we can stop paying taxpayer money on bogus ends because it’s costing only the taxpayers on both ends,” said Madigan, who was elected last November on the same slate as Montgomery.
Although he helped to launch Elysian Charter School in the late 1990s, School Board President Tom Kluepfel was among the school board members who voted to continue the lawsuit.
Kluepfel noted before voting that the board cannot discuss the matter since it is currently in litigation.
Ultimately, the six-member school board majority (which have all been affiliated with the political group “Kids First” in the past), including Jennifer Evans, Irene Sobolov, Monica Stromwall, Tom Kluepfel, Sharyn Angley and Leon Gold, voted to continue the lawsuit.
Sobolov referred to Biancamano’s motion toward the end of the meeting to vote on the lawsuit “bad boardsmanship.”
Still, the president of HoLa’s Board wrote a letter to The Hoboken Reporter saying,
“All three of those members voted to end a lawsuit that has cost taxpayers over one-quarter of a million dollars, and counting. Unfortunately, the six-member majority on the board voted to continue a lawsuit that is unlikely to prevail on the facts. The district has lost its arguments at every legal interval so far. We are now at the Appellate Court level (which has rejected the district’s request for an emergency stay) and we are facing expensive oral arguments by all three parties—the Hoboken district, HoLa, and the NJ Department of Education.”

Over $9,000 raised for homeless woman and her cat

Often, people believe there’s not much one can do to help the homeless. And they say that if they try to help, they don’t know where their money goes. But what if it makes someone’s life a little easier, no matter what they do with it? And what if a group of people, instead of just shaking their heads, decided to actively try to change the life of one street person?
With temperatures expected to reach zero this weekend, in just six days, nearly 200 people raised over $9,000 to helpless a homeless woman and her cat who are frequently seen around Hoboken.
Kerry D. and other concerned Hoboken residents got Joan and Tux off the streets and into an Extended Stay hotel that takes pets. Joan is a longtime fixture in Hoboken, taking her cat around in a carrier and always feeding her cat the best food. But they are often both out on cold nights. Joan was even out on Christmas Eve.
After an article was posted at hudsonreporter.com on Wednesday, more than $5,000 was contributed to Joan and Tux in 24 hours.
Her friends hope she can stay another two to three months until the weather gets warmer, or until she is able to secure permanent affordable housing. The money will also go to her medical bills.
In 2009, The Hoboken Reporter published a story on Joan and her cat at the time, titled “Travels with Sugar.” At the time Joan, who did not want to give her last name, said Hoboken holds good memories for her because she lived there in her in her youngest years. At some point in her childhood, her family moved to Union City. She stayed in an affordable rooming house there for years, but eventually it closed.
An update on the GoFundMe page this past Friday, said “I spoke to Joan last night and she is so humbled by the outpouring of support she has received over the past few days. She wanted to say thank you and that she misses all of her friends in Hoboken. She is so happy that she and Tux won’t have to be outside during this frigid weather.”
You can contribute to Joan and Tux by visiting www.gofundme.com/Joan-TuxFund.

New Urban Farm Engineers Club

Hoboken High School teacher Juliana Addi successfully netted a $25,000 grant through her proposal to develop the Urban Farm Engineers Club.
The grant comes courtesy of Cognizant, a global leader in business and industry as part of their Making the Future grant program, which “seeks to inspire young learners and future leaders to pursue science, technology, engineering, and math disciplines by creating fun, hands on learning opportunities.”

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