HOBOKEN BRIEFS

Parking meters roll out on Washington, Hudson streets

Parking meters have begun to be installed in uptown Hoboken on Washington and Hudson Streets. The City Council approved the project last June.

The meters will be operational “sometime in early 2017,” according to city spokesman Juan Melli. “Plenty of notice will be provided to the public before they are in effect,” he said.

The meters are for motorists without parking permits and will cost $1 per hour for a maximum of four hours. Those with visitor, employee or resident permits do not have to pay.

NY Waterway returns ferries to single ownership as company celebrates 30 years

Port Imperial Ferry Corp., doing business as NY Waterway, has entered into an agreement to acquire Billybey Ferry Co., which owns 11 commuter ferries and the rights to operate on routes between Hoboken and Jersey City and Manhattan, NY Waterway President & Founder Arthur E. Imperatore announced in a letter to employees.

The combined NY Waterway fleet of 31 ferries and 80 buses is the largest privately-owned and operated commuter ferry network in the nation, serving a total of 20 trans-Hudson routes and carrying more than 30,000 passengers per day. The company began operations Dec. 3, 1986, and has about 400 employees today. 

NY Waterway also will continue to operate two additional ferries chartered by Billybey that operate between the Paulus Hook Ferry Terminal in Jersey City and the World Financial Center Ferry Terminal in Lower Manhattan.   

The combined entity is owned by Imperatore, his stepson Armand Pohan, who serves as chairman, Arthur E. Imperatore Jr. and other family members. Headquarters are in the Port Imperial Ferry Terminal in Weehawken.

$20 million donation for new building at Stevens

Stevens Institute of Technology announced that alumnus Greg Gianforte ’83, M.S ’83, H.ENG. ’12, has made history with another $10 million gift to name the Gianforte Academic Center, a new state-of-the-art interdisciplinary educational and research facility dedicated to technological innovation.

This gift augments the previous $10 million gift made by the Gianforte Family Foundation in 2012, making the combined total of $20 million the largest gift to a single project in university history.  

“Susan and Greg Gianforte have made yet another transformational gift to Stevens,” said Dr. Nariman Farvardin, president of Stevens. ”I and the entire Stevens community are so grateful for their leadership, commitment, and extraordinary generosity.”The new 89,950 square-foot, two-building facility which will be completed in 2019, will be located on the northeast and southeast corners of Hudson and Sixth Street.

The Gianforte Academic Center is slated to add 17 smart classrooms, six advanced labs and 45 faculty offices, plus house the Department of Computer Science, and an array of laboratories in healthcare technology, including the Semcer Tissue Engineering Lab, a Digital Learning Lab, and the Prototyping Manufacturing Facility.  

“Susan and I know a winner when we see one,” Gianforte said. ”We consider this additional gift as an investment in an organization that is making a difference – for its graduates who go on to launch and lead companies, for an economy that is driven by technological innovation, and for a society that benefits from the research taking place at Stevens.”

Over 1,300 people participate in local Christmas exchange

On Saturday, Dec. 10 more than 800 family members and children received gifts at the Hoboken Christmas Exchange.

Over 100 volunteers helped to deliver the gifts, while over 350 people signed up to participate in the event to adopt a family or child.

“Children will open clothes, toys, and other items from their wish list on Christmas morning, while parents received much needed household items like pots and pans, bedding and toiletries, diapers and towels.” said Anthony Reimer, outreach director at Hoboken Grace.

Hoboken Grace worked with the Hoboken Housing Authority, HOPES, North Hudson Community Action Corporation and The Jubilee Center to identify families-in-need.

“I have been crying since the event started,” said Kara Cohen, one of the event organizers. “I was at a loss for words much of the night.”

Kara says she was inspired to start this initiative two years ago. “I have been loved unconditionally and maybe others will feel that they are loved the same way by our God as a result of this event.”

When asked how she felt about Hoboken Grace’s involvement and how much bigger the event has become, Kara said, “It’s fantastic. It’s their event now, and I’m just happy to be a part of it!”

HoLa hosts toy drive and informs public on lottery

Hoboken Dual Language Charter School (HoLa) parents are spearheading a toy drive on Dec. 20 at 411 Marshall Dr. from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. On that date, families who currently live in public housing can pick up new, unwrapped gifts and learn more about the educational options in Hoboken, including HoLa.

Hola has also launched its annual student recruitment drive to raise awareness of educational options for traditionally underserved students.

The school is committed to ensuring that its students continue to reflect the diversity of Hoboken’s school age population, including low-income students.

“I still meet families who don’t know what a public charter school is, so part of this work is educating Hoboken families about the additional public school options they may not have known they had,” said Delines Rodriguez, dean of students and family liaison for HoLa.

Hoboken has three charter schools, all of which are public and free to attend.

HoLa was the first charter school in New Jersey to institute a low-income preference in its random lottery last year, resulting in low-income students having twice the chance of entering the school than a non-economically disadvantaged student.

As in past years, HoLa teachers, staff, and parents have started knocking on doors in the city’s public and subsidized housing buildings in advance of the lottery.

HoLa runs a random lottery each year because there are many more applications than there are seats.

The deadline for the lottery application is Jan. 13 and the random lottery will be held on Jan. 20.

HoLa is holding an Open House/Tour for interested families on Wednesday, Jan. 4 at 9 a.m. at 123 Jefferson St. For more information or to enter the lottery, please contact Delines Rodriguez at (201) 427-1458 or at drodriguez@holahoboken.org.

New Hoboken ice rink will open on Thursday, Dec. 22

On Thursday, Dec. 22 a grand opening will take place for the new outdoor ice-skating rink at 3:30 p.m. in the “Harlow Winter Village” under the 14th Street Viaduct.

The rink will be open until Feb. 28 and is sponsored by Advance Realty, the developer of the Harlow building.

“The outdoor skating rink, made of synthetic ice, is the latest example of the city providing fun recreational opportunities for residents and children of all ages,” wrote Mayor Dawn Zimmer in an email. “And, the rink will add to the vibrancy of the Viaduct area, which is becoming one of the most popular neighborhoods in the city!”

The rink is 3,100 square feet and is made of synthetic ice designed for ice skates with metal blades.

The rink is free with skate rentals at $10 and local vendors will be on site to sell food and drinks.

The rink is scheduled to be open Monday through Friday from 2:30 p.m. to 10 p.m. and weekends from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m.

Corrections to ‘Businesses coming and going’

Last week the Hudson Reporter published an article titled “Businesses coming and going.” The article mistakenly portrayed Tessa International School as a language center. The school is actually a full time preschool where children are taught 80 percent of the day in a target language such as French or Spanish. Founder Isabelle Bonneau said they already have 23 students enrolled for next September which is 40 percent of their target goal.

Police warn drivers about drunk driving

The Hoboken Police Department announced their participation in the statewide “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” campaign.

From Dec. 9 to Jan 1 law enforcement officers will conduct sobriety checkpoints and roving patrols, looking for motorists who may be driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

“Good job with DWI arrests last night @LtJimPeck & Officers Arocho & Cuevas. Continue to take dangerous drivers off the roads!” tweeted Chief Ken Ferrante on Dec. 10.

He added in a second tweet “Two DWI arrests last night by @HobokenPD, one for a hit and run and the other for operating wrong way on a one way.”

The release advises the public to have a designated driver before going out, take mass transportation, to buckle up, to have a sober friend pick you up, or to “spend the night where the activity is held.”

“Many people believe that after a few drinks they’re still safe to drive,” said Acting Director of the NJ Division of Highway Traffic Safety Gary Poedubicky. “Even one drink can impair your judgment and reaction time, putting not only yourself by everyone on the road in danger.”

Two Jersey City residents arrested for stabbing at party in Hoboken

On Sunday Dec. 4 two people were stabbed at a party at 38 Jackson St. in downtown Hoboken, according to a media release from the Hoboken Police Department.

One victim sustained puncture and slash wounds to his shoulder, stomach, and wrist while the other had a “deep laceration to his left arm.”

The injuries were not considered life threatening and were treated on scene and at Jersey City Medical Center.

The stabbing allegedly occurred when a fight broke out at the party and a group was being escorted out. It was at this time that one of the men from the group began to lunge and stab the victims and fled the scene.

Jersey City Police Department helped arrest Joaquin Davis, 20, who allegedly resisted arrest and was transported to the Hoboken Police Department.

Davis was charged with two counts of aggravated assault, possession of a weapon, resisting arrest, and possession of a weapon for unlawful purposes.

Det. William Collins and Det. Michael Miranda identified Yolmin Brito, 22, as the other man allegedly involved in the stabbing.

Brito was charged with aggravated assault, possession of a weapon, possession of a weapon for unlawful purpose, and “several outstanding warrants for Robbery and CDS offenses out of Bayonne and Jersey City.”

The media release notes that the party was a “pop-up party” in which planners invites attendees through word of mouth and social media. These unregulated parties “become bigger than planned” and occur in lofts or warehouses where alcohol consumption and capacity aren’t monitored.

This puts “everyone in attendance at risk along with fire and police personnel,” said the media release.

It warns, “Anyone hosting this type of event would be in violation of local ordinances and face fines and potential civil liability.”

Bill to reform Drivers Ed curriculum to include bicyclist and pedestrian safety advances

Hudson County Assembly Democrats Annette Chaparro, Raj Mukherji, Nicholas Chiaravalloti, and Angela McKnight have sponsored a bill to help ensure the safety of bicyclists and pedestrians in New Jersey. The legislation was advanced Dec.12 by an Assembly committee.

The bill would require the curriculum for driver’s education courses in New Jersey to include information on sharing the road with pedestrians, bicyclists, skaters, and riders of motorized scooters and other non-motorized vehicles. The measure also would require the Motor Vehicle Commission to include bicycle and pedestrian safety as part of the written examination required to obtain a driver’s permit or basic driver’s license.

“I started seeing more people use bikes in my hometown of Hoboken, and so much of a driver’s education is focused on interactions a driver may have with other automobiles,” said Chaparro.  “But as we’re seeing with the introduction of more bike share programs, motorists have to share the road with many people who are walking or operating other types of vehicles on a regular basis. In order to keep New Jersey’s roadways safe for everyone, it’s critical that new drivers learn the correct way to interact with bicyclists, pedestrians and others who are not in automobiles.”

Nearly 5,000 pedestrians and 700 cyclists are killed annually in traffic accidents in the United States, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

The measure was advanced by the Assembly Transportation and Independent Authorities Committee.