Development plans for Liberty State Park axed
Bob Martin, commissioner of the Department of Environmental Protection announced on May 12 that the state will drop plans to commercially develop portions of Liberty State Park.
The DEP had petitioned a study for possible uses of the park that included a hotel, amusement park, sports complex and a performance space. The study arose from the Christie Administration’s plan to make state parks financially self-sustaining.
Sam Pesin, president of Friends of Liberty State Park, was thrilled with the announcement. He had led the protest against the plans, and had managed to bring into his camp high profile political allies such as Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop and state Senate President Stephen Sweeney.
Chabad Jewish Center hosts a Lag Bomer Family Festival
Chabad Jewish Center is once again hosting a Lag Bomer Family Festival at Pier A Park on May 26. Rain or shine! There will be a petting zoo, pony rides, bounce houses and much more from 4:30 – 6:30 as well as food and treats followed by a beautiful, traditional bonfire and music.
Event is co-sponsored by Inserra Shoprite, Carepoint (HUMC) and Goya Foods
For more info and to register, visit www.JewishHoboken.com
Art House Productions sponsors first “Dislabeled JC” screening
Local aspiring young film producer Joe Cantatore’s film “Looking For New Hope” will be showcased on Tuesday, May 17 at The Brightside Tavern, in Downtown Jersey City, from 6-9 p.m. Joe’s film will be one of the four local artists showcasing their work at the First Annual “Dislabeled JC” screening sponsored by Art House Productions.
Joe’s film brings to life his daily struggles and hopes living with a very rare genetic disorder called “Friedreich’s Ataxia” and his mission is to bring awareness to fund research and one day find a cure for FA.
The screening will be the first from The Art House Access Committee. People living with disabilities are featured in these films, but in a way that is not normally depicted in most media. The exhibitors have shaped the night to be smart and funny with a little bit of the unexpected. This will help raise awareness about the people in the community living with disabilities as viable artists and film makers, and raise support for the Art House Access Committee. You can find more details on the event by going to www.arthouseproductions.org.
Gateway Tunnel fast-tracking raises concerns
The Port Authority plans to fast-track the permit process for the Gateway Tunnel to 18 months.
Toni Granato, of the New Jersey Sierra Club, said his organization is concerned about speeding up the permitting process because it might avoid important environmental rules and regulations.
State and federal transportation officials have secured an additional $70 million for a project that would build two new rail tunnels under the Hudson River between New Jersey and New York City. This funding would be split between Amtrak and the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, the public bodies overseeing the project. The U.S. Department of Transportation has promised to fast-track the permitting process in order to get shovels into the ground as soon as possible.
“The Port Authority is the lead to oversee the much needed Gateway Tunnel Project, but we have some concerns given the agency’s record,” Granato said. “We support the tunnel, but want to make sure it has the least environmental impact. The growing issues for commuters including major delays on public transit and aging infrastructure show a train tunnel under the Hudson River to New York City. However, we believe the Port Authority must allow a transparent and open process during the planning and construction process to ensure this project goes through.”
Jeff Tittel, director of the New Jersey Sierra Club, said, “So called ‘cutting red-tape’ has been used by the Christie Administration to roll back environmental protections. Now we hear the Port Authority wants to do the same thing with the Gateway Tunnel. This would be the largest infrastructure project in the New York Metropolitan area for past 60 years. If you eliminate oversight and public input, you will be making major mistakes both financially and environmentally. It’s not only about eliminating red-tape, its having enough ‘green’ to build it. If you fast-track the project, the public won’t have enough time for input. The lack of oversight and transparency are the reasons why the Port Authority have become a rogue agency. After all the scandals and Christie vetoing legislation to reform the Port Authority, why would we send them a $13 million check?”