Newport skating rink to close for the season on Sunday
by The Jersey Journal Tuesday March 11, 2008, 2:04 PM
This weekend marks the end of the season for Newport Skates, the 7,000-square-foot ice rink that opened last year in Jersey City's Newport section.
More than 15,000 skaters used the rink this year, according to representatives of the developer of Newport, the LeFrak Organization.
"We are thrilled to have brought a new and exciting tradition to the holiday season at Newport in Jersey City," Andrea Goldstein Gorlyn, Newport's director of marketing, said in a written statement.
The rink, located at 95 River Drive, opened in late November.
During the spring and summer months, the rink will be turned into a tree-lined plaza with seating areas, fountains and bronze elephant statues whose trunks are sprinklers.
Newport officials say the space will be used for concerts, children's festivities, street fairs, and other events. There will also be aluminum patio furniture with umbrellas.
Jersey City set to introduce budget
by Ken Thorbourne Wednesday March 12, 2008, 2:21 PM
The Jersey City City Council plans to introduce the municipal budget tonight for the current fiscal year, which began more than seven months ago.
This budget includes $8 million in special aid from the state - an ammount that eliminates the need to raise taxes on the municipal portion of the budget, according to Business Administrator Brian O'Reilly.
"We want to thank Gov. Jon Corzine and his staff, particularly aide Patty McGuire and DCA (Department of Community Affairs) Commissioner Joseph Doria for their guidance and assistance during this long process," Mayor Jerramiah T. Healy said in a statement.
The amount to be raised by local property taxes for the municipal budget will be between $149 million and $151 million, O'Reilly has said.
The final municipal budget is anticipated to be adopted in the next 45 days. This amount does not include expected hikes in the county and school portion of the tax bill
Jersey City introduces $464M budget
by Ken Thorbourne Thursday March 13, 2008, 1:03 PM
With just over three months to go before the fiscal year ends on June 30, the Jersey City City Council last night unanimously introduced a $463.9 million budget.
This budget, whose final adoption is anticipated some time in the next five to six weeks, calls for $151.2 million to be raised by local property taxes -- a roughly $11 million hike over last year.
But due to increased ratables -- and some hefty so-called "one-shots," or infusions of cash -- city taxpayers should be able to dodge significant tax increases, at least on the municipal portion of their property tax bills, said Business Administrator Brian O'Reilly.
The one-shots include $8 million in special supplemental aid from the state and $15 million from Honeywell International Inc. as a result of a lawsuit settlement.
With the state aid, which used to be called "Distressed Cities Aid," the city has to get state permission to hire additional personnel, create positions, or grant salary increases not included in a bargaining agreement, O'Reilly said.
O'Reilly said he received a final thumbs-up on the state aid yesterday morning in a phone call from state Department of Community Affairs Commissioner Joseph V. Doria Jr., the former mayor of Bayonne.
A public hearing on the entire budget is scheduled for April 10 at 6 p.m. at Middle School 4, 107 Bright St.
East Egg hunt tomorrow in Jersey City
by The Jersey Journal Friday March 14, 2008, 1:05 PM
Jersey City's annual Easter Egg hunt will be held tomorrow at Pershing Field, at Summit and Manhattan avenues.
The egg hunt, along with other children's activities, will be from 1 to 4 p.m. and is open to kids between 3 and 8 accompanied by a parent or other adult.
Five baskets of chocolates will be handed out as prizes to kids in two age groups - 3 to 5 years old and 6 to 8.
Music and dance performance to benefit Jersey City arts high school
by The Jersey Journal Friday March 14, 2008, 1:57 PM
A multi-cultural music and dance festival will be held tomorrow at the Loew's Jersey Theatre to raise money for a masters study abroad program for the Jersey City Arts High School, which takes students from the city schools and gives them intensive course work in the arts.
The show will feature 50 performers from eight cultural organizations in Hudson County and elsewhere.
The Arts High School students - who spend half their day at one of the city's public schools and half the day at the art school, on the campus of New Jersey City University - will have an opportunity, along with students from the Hudson County Schools of Technology, to go to London this year as part of the study abroad program.
Tickets for the show, which will be held from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., $15 in advance and $20 at the door. To order tickets, call (201) 200-2173, Ext. 2 or (201) 538-6691.
Again through Ianmac and Newyorkssxith.com he shows that there is going to be a "signature steakhouse" will be in the Westin. Great news for the area.
Jersey City Heights plans 'Everything' fest
by Ken Thorbourne Wednesday March 19, 2008, 8:30 PM
From musicians to magicians, this festival is for everyone and will feature everything.
The first-ever "Everything Jersey City Festival" is scheduled for Saturday, May 17, from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., along a seven-block stretch of Central Avenue. Unlike other festivals that highlight specific groups, this festival's goal is to embrace and entertain everyone, said Michael Yun, president of the Central Avenue Special Improvement District, organizers of the event.
"The theme is pride and harmony," Yun said. "We have very talented artists in Jersey City ... and we intend to give them a showcase."
This event will feature food, music, arts & craft, even a local dance troupe, organizers said. The headliner is The Legendary Teenagers, who made the record "Why Do Fools Fall In Love?"
The cost of the festival is roughly $100,000 -- more than half of which will come from the SID and private sponsors, said Central Avenue SID Director Brittany Hopkins. The city is chipping in roughly $35,000, she said.
"This is a very exciting time," said Heights Councilman Bill Gaughan. "We're looking forward to it. I'm so proud it's in Ward D."
In addition to The Jersey Journal, sponsors of the festival include Sovereign Bank, State Farm Insurance, Christ Hospital, Hudson County Community College, PSE&G, Bank of America, the American Flag Company, Immigration Advocacy Services, Liberty Academy Charter School, Merrill Lynch, LibertyHealth/ Jersey City Medical Center, P.O.M. Planning Services, United Water, and Susan Newman Designs, Inc.
For more information about the festival, visit jcheights.com.
Jersey City steps up pedestrian safety enforcement
by The Jersey Journal Monday March 24, 2008, 10:27 AM
Beginning today, Jersey City police will be stepping up enforcement of pedestrian violations, seatbelt laws and aggressive driving, part of a program funded with a $34,500 state grant that will pay for overtime patrols.
Cops citywide will be looking for drivers who do not yield to pedestrians in the crosswalk and for pedestrians who jaywalk, according to the police.
Drivers who fail to yield could face $100 fines and two points on their license.
GREENVILLE HOSP SHUTS APRIL 23
Tuesday, March 25, 2008
By KEN THORBOURNE
JOURNAL STAFF WRITER
The plug has been pulled on Greenville Hospital.
Despite a months-long campaign by elected officials and community activists to save the 100-bed facility, state Health and Senior Services Commissioner Heather Howard gave LibertyHealth System Inc., the hospital's owner, the go-ahead yesterday to shut the Jersey City facility in 30 days.
In a statement, LibertyHealth President and CEO Joseph L. Scott, said the hospital would cease operations on April 23.
In her letter to Scott, Howard cited several arguments LibertyHealth made last June when it filed its application to close the facility, including the fact the hospital is losing $3 million a year, and draining resources from the network's two other hospitals - the Jersey City Medical Center and Meadowlands Hospital Medical Center in Secaucus.
Jersey City Ward F Councilwoman Viola Richardson blasted state officials for displaying "blatant disregard for the lives of poor people."
In a statement, state Sen. Sandra B. Cunningham, said she is "disappointed" by the commissioner's decision.
"It's unfortunate that the people in the Greenville section of Jersey City will lose access to such a vital health care center which has served as a part of the community for more than 100 years," Cunningham said.
Making the case that patient care won't suffer, Howard stated there are six acute care hospitals in Hudson County besides Greenville, with the JCMC the closest at 2.8 miles and Bayonne Medical Center at 3.4 miles.
"It is clear that there are a sufficient number of unused beds at JCMC and Christ Hospital alone to easily absorb the relatively small inpatient census at Greenville Hospital," Howard noted.
Greenville, which employs about 250 people, is licensed for 100 beds, but staffs only 75. The hospital averages a daily census of 30 to 40 patients, officials said. In his statement, the LibertyHealth CEO assured the public that "all health care services available at Greenville Hospital are available at Jersey City Medical Center."
"In the state's fiscal crisis, we will continue to do everything we can to preserve the quality healthcare we provide for the community. LibertyHealth will work with local elected officials and community leaders to ensure adequate funding for the services we provide to all patients," Scott added.
Howard's decision came as little surprise to Jersey City officials, who were expecting the worst after the state Health Planning Board's recommended in February that the hospital be closed.
"We fought it all the way," Jersey City Mayor Jerramiah Healy said yesterday. "I could see this coming. The numbers just were not there. The economics were not adding up and the state is just cutting more and more."
Last edited by JCMAN320; March 25th, 2008 at 02:42 AM.
Jersey City PAL to get $20G from U.S. Marshals
by The Jersey Journal Wednesday March 26, 2008, 10:34 AM
The Jersey City Police Athletic League today will receive a $20,000 grant from the U.S. Marshals Service Gang Resistance and Education Training program.
U.S. Attorney for New Jersey Christopher Christie is expected to attend the 1 p.m. check presentation, at the PAL building, 163 Old Bergen Road.
Jersey City seeks appeal of Greenville Hosp closure
by The Jersey Journal Thursday March 27, 2008, 11:21 AM
Jersey City is appealing the state's decision to allow Greenville Hospital to close on April 23.
In a letter sent Tuesday to state Health Commissioner Heather Howard, Mayor Jerramiah Healy said the decision would cause "immediate and irreparable harm to the general health, safety and welfare of the citizens of Jersey City."
Healy asked the state to provide more time for the city to try to find a buyer for the privately owned hospital. The owner, LibertyHealth Systems, announced its intention to close the 100-bed facility over the summer and rejected an offer of $1.5 million from the city to try to stave off the closure.
Healy cited the experience of Bayonne Medical Center, which found a buyer after filing for bankruptcy.
"We have been working vigoroulsy to facilitate a provider of medical services at the location of Greenville Hospital," he says in the letter. "At your convenience, we would like to discuss alternative courses of action to that of simply closing Greenville Hospital."
LibertyHealth is now working to create severance packages or other jobs for the hospital's 128 employees.
Tax bump in Jersey City's new school budget
Friday, March 28, 2008
By KEN THORBOURNE
JOURNAL STAFF WRITER
In a 5-0-1 vote, the Jersey City Board of Education has adopted a $627.4 million budget that comes with a slight bump in taxes.
As driven by a state formula, the total amount to be raised by local property taxes is $86.12 million.
That translates to a $38 hike for owners of properties assessed at $100,000, said Jersey City Business Administrator Brian O'Reilly.
Board members Peter Donnelly, Franklin Williams and Sue Mack missed Wednesday's meeting and Anthony Cucci abstained.
Run by a state-appointed superintendent since 1989, the Jersey City school district is scheduled to return to local control in a matter of weeks. Nonetheless, it continues to receive an enormous amount of state aid, given its status as one of the state's poorest districts.
The newly adopted budget contains $477.8 million in state aid, representing 76 percent of the spending plan.
This budget is up roughly $9 million from this year's $618 million amount.
The increase is mostly due to increases in salaries and benefits for employees, said Business Administrator Joann Gilman.
The district is placing solar panels on the roofs of Schools 22, 28 and 8, Gilman said. The project will cost nearly $5 million, with the state Board of Public Utilities paying for half of it. Cucci abstained "as a tribute to" Gilman, who after 25 years with the district is leaving at the end of June to take another job.
"Here at a time when the schools are being returned (to local control), the time when she is most needed, she is going," Cucci said. "I don't think they (the administration) dropped the ball (in trying to retain her). But sometimes there are other forces at work."
Last edited by JCMAN320; March 28th, 2008 at 04:19 AM.
Jersey City to name new fire chief
by Ken Thorbourne Friday March 28, 2008, 2:40 PM
Nearing 65, the mandatory retirement age for uniformed employees, Jersey City Fire Chief William Sinnott plans to retire Tuesday and will be replaced by Deputy Chief Michael O'Reilly.
"Hes been a great leader and a great role model for the younger firefighters," Jersey City Mayor Jerramiah T. Healy said of Sinnott, who joined the force in 1966 and has been chief for the past 15 months.
Sinnott's replacement, the 47-year-old O'Reilly, has been on the job for 26 years. He came in first in a state-administered promotional exam given for the chief's job in January, said Fire Director Armando Roman.
His brother, Brian O'Reilly, is the city's Business Administrator and his mother is former Councilwoman Bernadette O'Reilly.
Six of the departments 12 deputy chiefs took the test.
As the appointing authority, Roman is permitted by state law to pick a chief among the top three.
"I told the mayor from the beginning, whoever comes out No. 1 has paid his dues, applied himself and deserves it," Roman said.
O'Reilly decline to comment.
He will earn $167,976 as chief, officials said. OReilly will be named acting chief on Tuesday and a formal swearing-in will take place as soon as the certified test results are received from the state, Roman said.