JERSEY CITY BRIEFS

Turn back the clock and check batteries

The New Jersey Department of Community Affairs’ Division of Fire Safety (NJDFS) is reminding residents that Daylight Saving Time, Sunday, Nov. 6 is the best time to check the manufacture dates of smoke detectors and carbon monoxide (CO) alarms and to change the batteries. Units over 10 years old should be replaced with a new one.
“Don’t Wait-Check the Date!” is this year’s National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) slogan for community risk reduction efforts throughout the state. New Jersey students will use this theme during the 2016-2017 Annual Scholastic Fire Safety Poster Contest conducted by NJDFS and the New Jersey Fire Prevention and Protection Association.

Suspect in murder of wife found dead in New Brunswick

A local man wanted in connection with a murder in Jersey City was found dead in a New Brunswick movie house parking lot on Oct. 30, officials said.
According to a release from Hudson County Prosecutor Esther Suarez, her office issued a warrant on Oct. 28 for Steven Franklin, 39, of Jersey City, on the suspicion that he had murdered his wife, Sineka Davis, 38, at their home on Manning Avenue.
A preliminary investigation suggests that Franklin committed suicide, the release said. An autopsy, however, is expected to determine the exact cause of death.

Hospital asks for help identifying unknown elderly woman

Hoboken University Medical Center and the police department need assistance identifying a woman who has been at the hospital for the past 40 days. According to a police release, the female has a life threatening illness and may suffer from dementia.
The patient believes she is of Italian descent and is described as a white 65-year-old woman approximately 5 feet tall with brown hair dark eyes and weighing roughly 100 pounds.
The woman believes her name could be Mary Ford with her possible date of birth being either Sept. 9, 1950, 1951, or 1961.
The woman is believed to be homeless and may have lived in North Bergen at one time.
If you know this woman please contact the Hoboken Police Department at (201-) 420-2100 or Hoboken University Medical Center at (201) 418-1336.

Jersey City Mayor Fulop on Bridgegate verdict: ‘A sad day for New Jersey’

NEW JERSEY — Bridget Anne Kelly, the former deputy chief of staff to Gov. Christopher Christie, and Bill Baroni, the former deputy executive director of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, were found guilty on all charges on Nov. 4 related to the closure of traffic lanes on the George Washington Bridge in 2013.
This was allegedly done in as political retaliation against the mayor of Fort Lee, who failed to endorse the reelection of Christie for governor in a scandal commonly called “Bridgegate.”
Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop, who alleged that had also been victim of political retribution as well, had little to say on the outcome of the trial.
“There isn’t really much anyone can say other than this is a sad day for New Jersey,” he said.
Kelly and Baroni were found guilty on seven charges including conspiracy, fraud, and civil rights deprivation.
The verdict came after almost five days of jury deliberations. Sentencing is scheduled for Feb. 21. Both face up to 86 years in prison.

Moody’s upgrades Jersey City rating

Citing Jersey City’s strong and rapidly growing tax base, a growing economy, and the “improved management policies” of the Fulop administration, Moody’s Investor Services last week increased the credit rating of Jersey City’s General Obligation (GO) debt from A1 to Aa3, marking the third consecutive credit rating increase under the Fulop administration and the second such move by Moody’s.
“From the very beginning, we’ve taken a forward-looking approach to fiscal planning, focusing on making Jersey City more fiscally sound, while investing in public safety, new parks, increased recreation, and other quality-of-life issues – all without raising taxes,” said Mayor Steven Fulop. “Receiving yet another credit rating upgrade is strong validation that we are on the right track, but there is always more work to do and my administration remains focused on moving Jersey City forward.”
Moody’s report specifically cites the success of Mayor Fulop’s fiscal management policy as an important factor contributing to the city’s improving financial position. The policy, which implements a range of best practices from specific budget targets to required three-year projections of costs and revenues, has allowed the Fulop administration to control budget growth and keep taxes flat for three years. The Fulop administration has also consolidated departments and agencies to reduce costs and remove redundant services.
Meanwhile, the Fulop administration has also made pro-growth policies a priority, focusing on supporting local businesses and improving the quality of life for city residents. This credit upgrade, the third under Mayor Fulop, signals that key administration initiatives such as streamlining the permitting process, partnering with local businesses to revitalize commercial corridors, and opening the Office of Small Business to support existing and aspiring entrepreneurs are having their intended effect. More than 450 new small businesses have opened and more than 5,600 jobs have been added with unemployment dropping by more than a third since Mayor Fulop took office.

98-Year-Old World War II vet and N.J. union leader releases book

Frank L. Golon Sr., 98, one of the oldest first-time writers to ever be published, will be signing copies of his book “Johnny Romanek: The Start of An Era” shortly after the conclusion of the Jersey City Veteran’s Day parade, on Saturday, Nov. 12, at 3 p.m. at City Hall, 280 Grove St., Jersey City.
Written over a nearly forty-year period, the book is a fictional account of a N.J-based man named Johnny Romanek and his experience as a World War II veteran, N.J. union leader and civil rights advocate.
Born in 1918 in Mountainview, he spent several years living in Union City, Edgewater, Midland Park, Bergenfield and Whitehouse Station.
In addition to serving in World War II under General George S. Patton’s army, he was instrumental in bringing unions to Ford Motor Company, where he worked for several decades.
He was married to Anna Golon for 72 years and had three children with her. His eldest son, Wayne L. Golon, was killed in 1968 at the age of 23 while serving in the Vietnam War.
Frank also was active in the Civil Rights movement and participated in the Selma to Montgomery freedom march.
After living in New Jersey most of his life, he now resides in Fort Myers, Fla. “Johnny Romanek: The Start of an Era” is Frank’s first book and he’s working on several others.
Hudson County Freeholder Bill O’Dea, Jersey City Mayor Steve Fulop and others also will be in attendance.

Exchange Place SID plan unveiled

The Exchange Place Alliance Advisory Board and Ward E Councilwoman Candice Osborne announced last week detailed plans for the formation of a Special Improvement District (SID) on the Jersey City Waterfront. The Exchange Place Alliance, which will be financed entirely from private sector funding, will promote and guide economic revitalization and social growth while making the area cleaner, safer, and greener. The Jersey City Council is expected to introduce the measure authorizing the proposal at its Nov. 9 meeting , with a final vote on Nov. 22.
“The creation of the Exchange Place Alliance will benefit residents, businesses, and visitors by helping to create a true live/work/play destination,” said Councilwoman Osborne. “This is a great example of the public and private sectors working together to deliver results for Jersey City.”
In order to promote economic growth while also attracting new retail and businesses to the area, the Exchange Place Alliance will elevate the neighborhood through capital improvements, repairs and maintenance, landscaping, cleaning, and programming. Previously untapped sources of revenue will be utilized for improvements including the restoration of and upgrades to Peninsula Park, as well as Colgate Park.
“The Exchange Place Alliance will be a growth engine for the Jersey City Waterfront – and we are excited to play such an active role in its development,” said Michael J. DeMarco, Mack-Cali president and advisory board member. “We are particularly proud of the improvements that the Alliance plans to make to our neighborhood parks and green spaces and look forward to the many other contributions that will make the waterfront an even more vibrant place.”
New amenities will include wayfinding signage and informational kiosks to help direct the public, public restrooms, tables and chairs along the Hudson River Waterfront Walkway, Citi Bike stations, and public Wi-Fi.
The Alliance will hire a crew of workers responsible for timely trash and snow removal, street cleaning, and litter removal, as well as landscaping and hardscaping. New bollards and lighting are planned to be installed in coordination with PATH and PSE&G.
As part of its mission, the Exchange Place Alliance will produce weekend and weekday events and programming. It plans a strong social media presence and website, as well as to sponsor local groups and support local non-profits and businesses. Through these various communication channels, the Alliance will focus on getting the word out about the new organization and the area as a destination more generally.
The proposed Alliance SID would run from the intersection of Essex and Hudson Streets north to Thomas Gangemi Drive. It includes the entire Harborside complex where Mack-Cali is undertaking a complete transformation and reimagination to introduce enhanced dining options, an energized urban landscape, unique retail experiences, and more.
“I want to thank the volunteers and private entities who spent time drafting this plan,” said Mayor Steven Fulop. “The expansion and improvement of amenities along our waterfront will be a great benefit that all residents will enjoy.”
The Exchange Place Alliance will hire an Executive Director who will lead the entity under the guidance of a Board of Directors. The board will include local business and property owners. The SID will also create new jobs, including for a team of cleaners.
There are currently five other SIDs in Jersey City including in Journal Square, Central Avenue, McGinley Square, Historic Downtown, and Jackson Hill Main Street.

Man found dead near MLK Drive in Jersey City

JERSEY CITY — Michael Bower, estimated to be in his mid-30s, was found shot to death on Nov. 3 on Fulton avenue near Martin Luther King Drive – a block from the neighborhood community center, said the Hudson County Prosecutor’s Office spokesperson Ray Worrall on Friday.
More information will be forthcoming, Worrall said, noting the matter is still under investigation. The murder took place about a block the Mary McLeod Bethune Life Center on Martin Luther King Drive.
This is the 20th homicide in Jersey City this year.

Join CASA and volunteer with foster kids

Learn how to become a CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocate) volunteer and help foster children find safe and permanent homes. You may attend an information session at Little City Books at 100 Bloomfield St., Hoboken, on Tuesday, Nov. 15 at 7 p.m.
For further information, visit www.hudsoncountycasa.org

Choral concert slated for Nov. 20

A Schola Cantorum on Hudson choral concert, Bright Energy, will be held on Sunday, Nov. 20 at 5 p.m. at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church, 440 Hoboken Ave. in Jersey City
This is promoted as a musical celebration of human ingenuity and invention inspired by the need for sustainable energy and a clean environment, performed by the Schola ensemble of singers under the direction of conductor Deborah Simpkin King. The program will include Whitacre’s “Leonardo Dreams of His FlyingMachine”; Greg Bartholomew’s “To a Locomotive in Winter;” Sheena Phillips’ “Great is Life”; Jaakko Mäntyjärvi’s “Canticum calamitatis maritimae,” and Harry Belafonte’s “Turn the World Around.”
Tickets cost $20 in advance; $25 at the door. Children 12 and under will be admitted free of charge. Tickets are available online at scholaonhudson.org and by calling (888) 407-6002, ext. 5.

New JSQ Community Association to meet Nov. 12.

The New JSQ Community Association will hold its second general meeting on Saturday, Nov. 12, at 10 a.m. at the Old Bergen Church, 1 Highland Ave., at the corner of Bergen Avenue. The association represents the interests of residents and owners of residential property.
The New JSQ’s goals are summarized by its slogan “clean, green and safe” – clean streets, sidewalks and alleys, beautification such as more flowers and murals, an environmentally friendly neighborhood, and a sharp reduction in crime.
The association has already made progress on two of its goals, according to Bill Armbruster, the New JSQ’s president. Responding to a request from the association, the county installed two “No Turns” signs on Kennedy Boulevard at the corner of Tonnele Avenue in response to complaints from residents about the dangers for pedestrians caused by illegal left turns at that corner.
In addition, members participated in a street clean-up on Magnolia Avenue on October 16.
The New JSQ plans to hold general membership meetings the second Saturday of each month at 10 a.m. It will elect permanent officers and four at-large trustees in January.
The New JSQ’s boundaries are Summit Avenue on the east, Corbin Avenue on the west, Newark Avenue on the north, and Vroom Street and DeKalb Avenue on the south. All residents of the city, however, are welcome to attend its meetings.