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Thread: Jersey City Rising

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    Staff is wowed by new JCMC
    Med Center's move is planned for May 16


    Wednesday, May 05, 2004

    By John Martins
    Journal staff writer

    Registered nurse Monica Paton delicately ran her hand along the countertop of a nursing station on the third floor of the Jersey City Medical Center's Wilzig Hospital yesterday, savoring the fresh smoothness of an unspoiled surface.

    A Post-it notepad in hand, she went to a nearby medication closet to continue assigning empty cabinets and drawers to various pieces of new medical equipment. Unused patient transport monitors, with their pristine LCD screens and plastic coverings, sat idle on another counter. A locked drawer bore a note with the word "syringes" written in capital letters.

    Paton, a 10-year veteran of Jersey City Medical Center's nursing staff, moved about the hospital's third-floor pediatric intensive care unit with a sharp attention to detail. Her seriousness, however, barely obscured the fact that she was thrilled to be there.

    "This is very exciting to come to a new place," Paton said. "It's like if you move to a new house. Everything is new."

    Paton's sense of excitement was shared on all floors of the new hospital yesterday as nurse managers and other hospital personnel walked the empty hallways for unit orientations and equipment drills. Those exercises were part of the hospital's ongoing preparations for the May 16 move from its current hospital, which will be the largest hospital move in state history.

    The tours given yesterday gave staff members a close look at their new workplaces. Locker rooms were revealed in unlit hallways. Consultation suites, replete with new furniture, were unveiled with the simple flick of a switch.

    Patient care technicians and clerks jumped around their new workplace yesterday with the giddiness of a child, calling dibs on work stations and lockers.

    "We're just ecstatic," said Jeanine Porter, a data entry clerk who has worked with the hospital for 16 years. "I can't wait to move."

    Porter, who works in the medical/surgical unit, sat at a nursing station in the hospital's east wing as her manager, Peggy Petrucelli, acquainted the team with the workspace. Her colleagues joked that the desk Porter sat at was made especially for her, to accommodate her small stature.

    When Petrucelli said their workspace was actually in the west wing, Porter and others joshingly ribbed their manager, saying they preferred the views of the east. They pointed to the Statue of Liberty, visible directly to the south from patient rooms, and Lower Manhattan, visible from the window at the end of the hallway.

    The newness of the space and its spectacular views, however, weren't the only features that piqued employee interest. Amenities that have become standards in modern hospitals, like private patient bathrooms and separate elevator bays for staff and patients, will be new to JCMC staff.

    "It's never pleasant to convince someone to use a bedpan and then have to truck it away," said Therese Borruta, a nurse manager in pediatrics. "In the old building, we had four stalls for the whole pediatric unit. Now, we have full bathrooms in the two-bed rooms and commodes in the ICU bays."

    The issue, however, is not so much a matter of convenience as it is of professional standards. Technological advancements in the health care industry have transformed how doctors and nurses do their jobs, Borruta said, and the old JCMC buildings have hamstrung the hospital's efforts at following that trend.

    "Health care delivery has outgrown the capabilities of the old Medical Center buildings," she said. "I don't think there's one person who isn't excited about (the move)."

    One technological improvement the Wilzig Hospital will have is a wireless telemetry system to monitor patients' cardiac activity. Before, telemetry monitors were attached to the wall and nurses had to go to the patient to check the monitor.

    Now, telemetry monitors will be attached to the patient and transmit data to a centralized computer system. The heart rate of a patient on the third floor can be checked by a nurse on the seventh.

    "There's a certain 'wow' factor coming in here," Borruta said. "It's just night and day."

    Yesterday's orientations supplemented an already rigorous preparation schedule the hospital has implemented to prepare the staff for the move. Nurses and other personnel have taken a battery of safety courses to ensure patients are kept stable in the transition.

    Hospital administrators are planning to begin the May 16 move at 6 a.m. Jersey City police officers will cordon off the streets from one site to the other to ensure that the transfers are unimpeded. Street closings will be announced at a later date.

    The hospital is bringing in ambulances from across the county to assist in the move, which should be completed by that evening.

    The emergency room at the new Medical Center will open at 6 a.m. that day, but the emergency room at the former hospital will remain open until all the patients are transferred.

    The Medical Center has a hot line to answer questions about the move, with information in English, Spanish, Arabic and Hindi, at (201) 915-2525.

    John Martins can be reached at jmartins@jjournal.com.

    Copyright 2004 The Jersey Journal

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    Helping tourists through Jersey City
    Artists come out to hear initiative, ask about their role

    Ricardo Kaulessar
    Reporter staff writer 05/09/2004

    C.A.T.ALYST FOR PROMOTING JERSEY CITY - First Lady Sandra Bolden Cunningham and Mayoral Spokesman Stan Eason listen to audience members at meeting last week in the Jersey City Museum on the city's proposed Council of Arts and Tourism (C.A.T.)
    A meeting took place last week at the Jersey City Museum to introduce the city's initiative for a new arts and tourism bureau to promote Jersey City as a tourist destination and economic center.

    The Council of Arts and Tourism (CAT) is an initiative started by Mayor Glenn Cunningham and First Lady Sandra Cunningham to promote Jersey City's historic landmarks and arts and entertainment venues.

    This meeting, the second in a series of meetings that the city plans to have, was organized to present the initiative to members of the arts community.

    But the meeting also served as a forum for city officials and the public, especially many of the artists in attendance, to talk about other issues, including the continued viability of the city's arts community.

    After a 10-minute promotional video of Jersey City as "New Jersey's Shining Star," there was a question-and-answer period led by Sandra Cunningham. Also present for questions were the mayor's spokesman, Stan Eason, and the president of the Jersey City Economic Development Corporation (where the base of operations will be located), Gene Nelson.

    Sandra Cunningham said that the city was looking to make itself not a "place of golden waterfront but of golden neighborhoods." She said she believed that the artist community would play an important part in promoting the Jersey City as a tourist destination.

    One artist who currently has a space at 111 First St. said that there should be new artist spaces being created. Stan Eason commented that there were seven artist work/live units created in a new residence that opened at 140 Bay St., and a soon-to-be opened building at 150 Bay Street will have at least twice as many.

    John Howell, a landscape photographer who once resided in Jersey City and is now based in South Jersey, said that in order for Jersey City's arts community to be appreciated by the public both in the city and elsewhere, there would have to be more communication between artists and the galleries and museums that showcase the artists.

    "There needs to be an arts liaison with the museum curators throughout the state," said Howell, who recounted his frustration at dealing with the Jersey City Museum in the past.

    Other audience members mentioned that the city has the opportunity to create a special arts and entertainment district on par with New York City's SoHo, the Brooklyn section of Williamsburg, and other artist areas across the community. They said the city should also attract those corporate employees who work in Jersey City but find very few venues that keep them from going to Manhattan.

    "Dallas has spaces for artists, an area called Deep Ellum where there's galleries, restaurants," said Michelle Dupey, Public Information Officer for the Jersey City Public Library. "It's brought people to an area they've never visited before."

    EDC President Gene Nelson said that as someone who grew up in Jersey City and has worked in places such as New York City and Washington, D.C., he wanted a flourishing arts community to be a vehicle for promoting the city and creating further economic opportunities.

    During the meeting, Sandra Cunningham told audience members that they could submit business cards, as the city was forming a steering committee that would determine the direction the CAT would take. Many after the meeting were impressed by what they heard.

    "I think it's a good start. A lot of artists were here to listen to the city's proposal, and we'll see where we go from here," said Kathe Frantz, an artist who currently has a space in 111 First St.

    "I think it's a great effort by the city, but there's more that need to be done," said Meredith Lippman, an artist who during the meeting addressed the issue of affordability for artists not only in downtown Jersey City but in all parts of the city.

    Eason after the meeting said that there would be several more meetings before the council was officially formed, but there wasn't a timetable set for promoting the city as tourist destination and economic center.

    ©The Hudson Reporter 2004

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    City of Jersey City
    Office of Emergency Management
    GLENN D. CUNNINGHAM
    MAYOR
    CITY HALL
    JERSEY CITY, NJ 07302


    May 19, 2004
    For Immediate Release Eugene Drayton
    Coordinator
    (201) 547-5681
    Fax: (201) 547-6542

    JERSEY CITY – The city's efforts to form an office of homeland security took a giant step forward after contracting a security firm to structure its operations and the implementation of terrorism training programs for emergency responders.

    The city of Jersey City was recently informed it would receive $2,405.72 for the Calendar Year 2003, a State and Local All Hazards Emergency Operations Planning grant issued by FEMA, the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

    The grant is earmarked to augment operations provided by Jersey City regarding its Office of Emergency Management.

    "This is a significant grant, one that recognized Jersey City's critical infrastructure and the efforts we have already undertaken to better prepare our emergency response personnel to all types of emergencies," said Gene Drayton, Director of the Office of Emergency Management. "We can use this money to further our training curriculum."

    The firm of Buckley Petersen Global, based in Allendale, has been contracted to structure the office of homeland security in Jersey City. The firm, headed by James Buckley and Ed Petersen, who combine more than 60 years of law enforcement experience at both the federal and state levels, lists a number of large entities as references of their services, including; Verizon, Sotheby's Major League Baseball, NFL, NBA, MCI WorldCom, the Federal Reserve and Goldman Sachs.

    Shortly after September 11, 2001, where Jersey City and its emergency response personnel distributed heavily to the rescue and recovery efforts in lower Manhattan, Mayor Glenn D. Cunningham recognized the need for the establishment of an office of homeland security within the city. Buckley Petersen Global will develop the schematics for the office and perform critical infrastructure assessment studies.

    "Jersey City is the financial engine of the state and we have various critical infrastructures that include transportation networks and fiber-optic trunks. And with our proximity to so many ports and New York, we are definitely a city that needs to work that much harder to protect ourselves from the unexpected," Cunningham said.

    The SLAHEOP grant will pay for much needed training in preparation for the formulation of the office. OEM officials recently reviewed strategic preparedness curriculum hosted by Buckley Petersen Global.///

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    Road repairs elicit questions
    Neighbors ask about viaduct projects near Holland Tunnel

    Ricardo Kaulessar
    Reporter staff writer 05/23/2004

    THE ROAD TO PROGRESS - Rehabilitation of The Holland Tunnel's 14th Street Roadway is one of two projects that over the next four years will pose problems for Holland Tunnel commuters from 14th Street to Highway 139.
    Starting in the spring of 2005, driving near the Holland Tunnel may be challenging for commuters, as upcoming construction projects could create lengthy delays on local roads.

    The major project will be the rehabilitation of the 12th and 14th streets viaducts in Jersey City by the New Jersey Department of Transportation. The project is intended to strengthen the viaducts, which were built in the 1930s and 1940s. Both viaducts support the 1.5-mile long NJ 139 roadway that consists of two levels.

    On the lower level are four lanes, two east and two west, providing a connection between the tunnel and the Pulaski Skyway. The upper level, also known as Hoboken Avenue, provides four lanes of arterial service to and from the Holland Tunnel into Jersey City.

    The projects will include rehabilitation efforts such as the re-decking of the entire roadway surface and super and sub-structure repairs. A seismic retrofit, which is a strengthening of the foundation of the viaduct, will be undertaken.

    For commuters driving on the viaducts, it is evident that the structure is showing its age as the concrete is beginning to crumble in various parts and dirt has darkened the walls.

    But the project, to be done in six stages with the rehabilitation of the 14th Street Viaduct starting in February 2005, has been cited by city residents and politicians as posing severe problems with traffic, safety and noise in downtown Jersey City.

    The viaducts project will coincide with the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey's project currently underway to improve the roadways leading out of the Holland Tunnel. Sidewalks, curbs, drainage, lighting, traffic signs and signals along 14th Street from the New Jersey exit area to Jersey Avenue will be addressed.

    The same rehabilitation work will also be made to Jersey Avenue from 14th to 12th streets. Also, 14th Street between Provost Street and Marin Boulevard will be widened to two lanes to accommodate traffic coming into the Newport Mall. According to Port Authority officials, that project will end by spring of 2005.


    Some parties concerned

    A meeting was held in the City Council caucus room at City Hall last week to bring together parties that wanted answers regarding these projects.

    Residents who live near the Holland Tunnel, members of the City Council, and representatives from the state Department of Transportation, the Port Authority and the Jersey City Police Department were in attendance for a presentation of the projects.

    Lawrence Vogel, the NJ DOT project manager for Hudson County, said, "We're putting a shoulder structure on the 14th Street Viaduct, an additional lane during construction." He said the first stage of the construction would take about a year.

    Ernest Hutchins, the engineer for the project, explained that while it will easier to mitigate the flow of traffic on the 14th Street side, it will be more difficult to control traffic on the 12th Street Viaduct during construction, since five lanes of traffic coming from the NJ Turnpike and Route 139 will merge to create fewer lanes.

    Vogel also said that there would be partnering with the Jersey City Police Department for traffic control. A total of $2.6 million has been earmarked by the NJ DOT for payment to the officers projected over a three-year period or longer.


    Neighbors ask questions

    Stephen Gucciardo of the Hamilton Park Neighborhood Association wondered how traffic will be monitored in the city as he figured many commuters will be using local streets to bypass the construction.

    "Commuters are going to drop off at the exit to Grand Street before to avoid the traffic," said Gucciardo, who lives on Pavonia Avenue and was worried about speeding. "Will you allow for certain routes to be closed off [to commuters]?"

    Vogel responded that there would be a meeting among NJDOT officials later in the week to discuss traffic issues.

    Councilpersons Maldonado, Mariano Vega and Council President Harvey Smith also suggested that the NJDOT should look into paving the local roads such as Monmouth Street and Coles Avenue that lead into the Holland Tunnel and into Hoboken, since they will be handling larger volumes of traffic, and this will show that NJDOT can be a "good neighbor" during the construction.

    When Vogel was asked if there was work going to be done at night, he said that there was.

    Robin Pinkowitz, an aide to Ward E Councilman Junior Maldonado who resides on Tenth Street (a couple of blocks from the tunnel entrance), wondered about the noise factor and how it will be handled.

    "It's like an echo chamber...where we hear every detail," said Pinkowitz about the area where she resides.

    Pinkowitz had also recalled a previous project by the NJDOT done near the Holland Tunnel that employed the use of water cannons, and she recalls how she immediately called the police.

    Maldonado asked if there was a NJDOT project similar to the one being proposed for the viaducts for him to study in terms of noise and traffic. Vogel said there was none at the present time.

    Vega also inquired about the NJDOT communicating with the public through advertising (both for English and Spanish-speaking persons) and setting up hotlines, a website, and meetings in the near future to inform people about the project.

    Vogel responded that the NJDOT is working with a public relations firm to work on a campaign.


    The Port Authority speaks

    Representatives from the Port Authority of NJ/NY were also on hand to listen to the presentation on the viaducts and speak about their project. The Port Authority has started preliminary work in preparation for the larger project of improvements to the roadway leading out of the Holland Tunnel's 14th Street exit in Jersey City.

    Robert Eadicicco, representing the Port Authority on the Holland Tunnel project, said that it is expected to be completed in April 2005. Eadicicco also said the first part of the project will be to ensure the widening of the roadway so that there are six lanes of traffic, and the second part will be taking out the island dividers that are located 10 feet from the corner of the individual cross streets.

    Also, there will be new traffic lights, the paving of cross streets such as Jersey and Manila Avenues from 12th and 14th Streets, and improvements to drainage. While the councilmen in the room and the community representatives for the most part praised the Port Authority for their efforts in outreach to the residents regarding the 14th Street Roadway project, there were still unresolved questions.

    Mariano Vega brought up the issue of pedestrian safety as he pointed out that those senior citizens and children who live in the Holland Gardens area have to contend with traffic lights that change too quickly.

    When the Port Authority representatives brought up that the lights have a countdown that allots a few seconds for pedestrians, Vega responded, "if you're a senior citizen, the countdown is just telling you that you're going to get hit faster."

    He also mentioned that there were talks between the city and the Port Authority about a pedestrian bridge to cross 14th Street. The Port Authority has said that there are still considering that project, but are right now concentrating on the roadway project first. They hope to meet with the city in the future regarding that topic.

    ©The Hudson Reporter 2004

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    Planning Board meeting revisits JC Powerhouse Arts District
    City feasibility study of long-proposed downtown area

    Ricardo Kaulessar
    Reporter staff writer 05/29/2004

    The Powerhouse Arts District in Jersey City that has been two years in waiting is a step closer to reality.

    The district was originally proposed in a report by the Urban Land Institute (ULI), a Washington D.C think tank that studies urban land use and was commissioned by the city to develop a plan to revise an eight-block area near Exchange Place known as WALDO (work and live district overlay).

    WALDO was designated as an area where abandoned warehouses and factories would be transformed into artist live/work spaces, arts and entertainment related-retail and exhibition spaces to create a center that would attract income to the Downtown area, particularly from businesspeople in Newport and Harborside.

    However, WALDO never came to fruition because of a lack of development. Developers felt hemmed in by restrictions dictating the type of housing and retail to be built in the district, particularly the requirement that 51 percent of residential units should be reserved for artists.

    As a result, panel members of the ULI spent six days in March 2002 visiting with business and property owners and local artists, studying WALDO and the general Downtown area, and consulting with city's Planning Department and other city officials to come up with the Powerhouse Arts District report.

    The report proposed that developers allot at least 10 percent of housing units to low to moderate income households, with some housing set aside for artists, and that current occupants and business owners have first rights to buy or rent any subsidized live work space. The report also recommended that the city should adopt a redevelopment plan that would make improvements to the Powerhouse Arts District.

    Before any redevelopment could occur, there had to be a study of the physical and economic conditions of the area to determine if it is in need of redevelopment. In April 2002, the City Council adopted a resolution to authorize a study of the area to determine if it needed redeveloping.


    Presentation of redevelopment study


    After two years and much anticipation from the Jersey City artist community, the study report was presented last week at a special meeting of the Planning Board held in the City Council chambers.

    Maryann Bucci-Carter, supervising planner for the city, presented the study in front of the board. Bucci-Carter read from the study that outlined the physical survey of the area, a block-by-block analysis, the criteria for determining the need for redevelopment, and a review of the features of the study area. Also included in the report were a map of the area and a list of each block and lot numbers of the locations, with a physical description of the specific property.

    The report states, "The Study Area, not including rights of way, contains approximately 12.5 acres of real property [and] is industrial in character. The area has older or no sidewalks, which are overgrown with weeds in many areas. Many of the roadways are in such deplorable shape that they appear to be unpaved with no curbing or utility service."

    There are three areas demarcated in the map that encompass a majority of land from Washington Street to Manila Avenue. Bucci-Carter and the Planning Department also presented a booklet of photos showing various locations in need of redevelopment, such as abandoned houses, lots and structures.

    Harold Seide, an attorney for Lloyd Goldman, the owner of 110 First St. and 111 First St., which fall within the study area, objected to the redevelopment plan on the grounds that it would deter developers from starting new projects.

    However, Elizabeth Onorato and Edward Fausting, both artists who have studios at 111 First St., presented to the Planning Board a large-scale printout of over 70 photos they took of the building to show why a redevelopment plan is vital to the Powerhouse Arts District area.

    The photos depicted a building plagued by a lack of decent plumbing, and with broken windows and other damages. Onorato and Fausting made the case that this building and many others in the area are in disrepair and would benefit from redevelopment.

    A crowd of approximately 50 people attended the Planning Board meeting, many of whom were local artists who came to hear the presentation of the report.

    The Planning Board announced at the meeting that another meeting will be scheduled for June 15 at the Jersey City Museum to hear more public comment about the study and consider recommending that the City Council adopt a redevelopment plan at an upcoming City Council meeting.

    ©The Hudson Reporter 2004

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    Colleges joining corporate buzz of Jersey City
    Sunday, June 06, 2004

    BY KELLY HEYBOER
    Star-Ledger Staff

    Where the world sees growing throngs of corporate workers rushing about Jersey City's waterfront office buildings, the state's colleges and universities see thousands of potential students.

    Within the crowds might be a middle manager looking for a graduate degree and a promotion. Perhaps a bored office worker eager to take a few classes and consider a career change. Or a young city resident who wants to earn an undergraduate degree close to home.

    As the boom in Jersey City continues, the city is growing into New Jersey's hottest higher education market.

    The city's three existing colleges -- Hudson County Community College, New Jersey City University and Saint Peter's College -- all have ambitious expansion plans in the works.

    They soon will be joined by the University of Phoenix, a for-profit school that spent years lobbying the state to license it to offer degrees on a waterfront campus due to open later this year.

    And now, Rutgers University is planning to open its doors in Jersey City. The state university's business school will open a satellite campus at Harborside Financial Center at Exchange Place this fall.

    With its growing real estate market, proximity to New York City and mass transportation, setting up in the state's second-largest city made sense, said Howard Tuckman, dean of Rutgers Business School in Newark and New Brunswick.

    "I've had Jersey City in the back of my mind for five years," Tuckman said. "Watching the development on the waterfront, you don't have to be Albert Einstein. This is a developer's dream."

    Once Rutgers and the University of Phoenix move in, Jersey City will have five colleges and universities. (Newark, the state's largest city, has four.)

    Jersey City officials say more college students and professors will bring more business to area restaurants and shops. Expanding Jersey City's campuses into surrounding neighborhoods also may help revitalize neglected corners of the city.

    Bob Cotter, the city's planning director, said the idea of Jersey City as a college town is not far-fetched.

    "I don't see it being an Ivy League, leafy sort of place," Cotter said. "But it's an urban campus."

    The new Rutgers and the University of Phoenix campuses will be unmistakably urban.

    The University of Phoenix, which specializes in offering courses for working adults, plans to open its campus in 20,000-square-feet of office space on Pavonia Avenue in Newport Centre. The university will have no sports teams, dormitories or student center. Instead, it will offer accelerated evening and weekend courses for workers who want to earn undergraduate degrees. It hopes to enroll 200 students its first year.

    Rutgers also will open its satellite campus this fall in rented office space currently being converted into classrooms at 34 Exchange Place. The university, which has similar satellite campuses in Morristown and Hopewell, plans to start by offering master's level courses in business administration. The university hopes to initially attract about 35 new students, then expand to offer other business education and certificate programs.

    Rutgers will hold information sessions about the new campus at 5:30 and 7 p.m. Wednesday at the Hyatt Regency in Jersey City.

    Bill Bruckner, an account manager at Jersey City-based Pershing, is weighing whether to enroll in the Rutgers MBA program this fall. Rutgers' reputation and flexible class schedules are tempting, he said. But the location of the new campus, less than five minutes from the financial company's offices, is "probably the biggest attraction," said Bruckner, 30.

    Seton Hall University also is looking to get into the Jersey City market. The university is talking with local corporations about offering business classes via a television hookup from its South Orange campus, a spokeswoman said.

    Officials at Jersey City's existing colleges say they are not worried about the competition.

    "The Jersey City/Hudson County market is large enough and diverse enough to absorb a large number of higher education providers," said Carlos Hernandez, president of the 9,400-student New Jersey City University.

    While the competition is concentrating on the waterfront, NJCU is looking to expand its 46-acre Kennedy Boulevard campus into Jersey City's "other waterfront" on the west side of the city. The public university is working with the city to find ways to develop a 700-acre tract on the Newark Bay, Hernandez said.

    Neighboring Saint Peter's College already has branched out of its Kennedy Boulevard campus to begin offering classes near the waterfront and inside several corporate offices.

    The 3,000-student Catholic college also is searching for space to set up a permanent campus on the waterfront to attract the same students Rutgers and the University of Phoenix are eyeing.

    Eugene Cornacchia, the college's provost, said Saint Peter's welcomes the competition in a city where it has been for 132 years.

    "It shows Hudson County is the place to come if you want to get an education," Cornacchia said.

    At Hudson County Community College, enrollment has increased more than 110 percent since 1992 thanks to increasing demand and new programs. Glen Gabert, the two-year college's president, expects enrollment will double again in the next 10 to 15 years.

    The 6,400-student county college will open a $25 million classroom building in Journal Square next summer. In 18 months, the school plans to break ground on a campus on the light-rail line in neighboring Union City.

    The new universities in town will mean only more students for everyone, Gabert added. Hudson Community already has agreements to help graduates transfer to Rutgers and the University of Phoenix's new campuses.

    "They are going to help us and we are going to serve them. ... This could actually increase all of our enrollments," Gabert said.

    "There is enough ignorance out there for all the colleges to flourish," he added, with a laugh.

    Kelly Heyboer covers higher education. She can be reached at kheyboer@starledger.com or (973) 392-5929.

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    June 15, 2004

    With Pride and Warmth, Jersey City Welcomes New Hospital

    By RONALD SMOTHERS

    JERSEY CITY, June 14 - Nearly 70 years ago, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt was greeted by a cheering crowd estimated at 200,000 people as he delivered $7 million in aid to spur construction of the new complex of buildings for the Jersey City Medical Center.

    The city-run charity hospital, like so many projects at the time, had succumbed to the collapse of the financial markets in the Great Depression and, as Roosevelt put it, help "for the small-income families in times of sickness" was in jeopardy.

    On Monday, the ribbon was cut on the new Jersey City Medical Center. Now a private, nonprofit hospital, it is again struggling in the financial markets, and it still serves primarily small-income families, with nearly 70 percent of the patients charity cases or Medicaid recipients.

    This time it was federal loan guarantees, state grants, state land acquisition and municipal assistance that were cobbled together over 18 years to pay the $217 million cost for new construction.

    "We don't have a stand-alone creditworthiness," said Dr. Jonathan M. Metsch, president and chief operating officer of the hospital, which is part of the nonprofit Liberty Health care system, a group formed by consolidating a number of small and financially troubled hospitals into one system during the 1980's. "But the government loan guarantees say that we are the safety-net hospital in the area and that we are providing a service that is essential."

    Monday's ribbon-cutting ceremony for the 350,000-square-foot, seven-story steel-and-granite structure did not attract the presence of a president. In 1936, Roosevelt, popular and heading into re-election, kicked off work on the seven-building, Art Deco medical complex of 20-story buildings with 1.1 million square feet of space that mimicked the grandeur of Rockefeller Center.

    This time around, there was less pomp, but the feelings ran deep.

    For Gov. James E. McGreevey, it was literally a return to the place where he began. Mr. McGreevey was born in the Jersey City Medical Center's Margaret Hague Maternity Ward, named for the mother of Frank Hague, the longtime Jersey City mayor. Mr. McGreevey's mother had worked as a nurse at the hospital.

    "It's a tremendously warm feeling being here," the governor said, smiling as he talked about the time he spent in the city until he started school. "There's hardly three degrees of separation between me and the people here today."

    Also attending was Representative Robert Menendez, who hospital officials said had championed the fight for the federal loan guarantees, making construction of the new medical center possible. Building a new hospital in an urban area when many hospitals are downsizing or consolidating was not an easy thing to sell to Congress, he said.

    But in the end, he said, the hospital won the help for a building to deal with "those in the dawn of life, those in the shadows of life and those in the twilight of life."

    The theme of the ceremony on the lawn of the 15-acre hospital on Monday, under a broiling sun, was that the hospital was "the miracle in Jersey City." Speaker after speaker highlighted its improbability, and even Dr. Metsch said that there were "eight or nine times when I thought it was dead."

    The building actually opened on May 16 when staff began moving patients from the old complex near the heart of downtown Jersey City to the new structure near the waterfront, overlooking the Lower Manhattan skyline and the Statue of Liberty.

    James McLaughlin, chairman of the board of the medical center, said that little else but the board table and some chairs was worth moving from the old building to the new high-tech, state-of-the-art center.

    Copyright 2004 The New York Times Company

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    Hey guys just wanted to throw this out there. On the waterfront in Downtown Jersey City, at the new Paulus Hook Terminal at the base of the Goldman Sachs Building, Liberty Helicopters has opened a heliport at the terminal for leisure helicopter rides. There are now two heliports for the public, Wall Street heliport and now Paulus Hook. Check out the site. Another plus for the great city of Jersey City. www.libertyhelicopters.com

  9. #114
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    Default From Paulus Hoiok

    Are there leisure helicopters taking off from Paulus Hook? Because that's what I thought when I first went down there, but Paulus Hook isn't specified on the map, so I thought maybe it was just a plug since they have the heliport there. If anyone knows please tell me

  10. #115

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    July 4th views




  11. #116

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    Sunset July 8


  12. #117
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    Great shots..

  13. #118

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    SHANGHAI ON THE HUDSON

    by PAUL GOLDBERGER

    Jersey City wants to be like lower Manhattan, only neat and clean.

    Issue of 2004-08-02
    Posted 2004-07-26

    If you stand on Eleventh Avenue in the upper Thirties and look south, the new forty-story Goldman Sachs building in Jersey City, on the other side of the Hudson, appears to be at the end of the street. The intimate connection created by the optical illusion (Manhattan starts angling eastward at about Twenty-third Street) works both ways. If you stand at the corner of Grand and Washington Streets in Jersey City, a couple of blocks from the waterfront, the river has pretty much disappeared, and the Woolworth Building looks as if it were just a short walk away. The Goldman Sachs tower, which was designed by Cesar Pelli, is the tallest skyscraper in New Jersey, and, with its graceful profile and elegant glass façade, the most beautiful. You could also say that it is one of the most important new pieces of architecture in lower Manhattan. To just about everyone except the tax authorities, the Jersey City waterfront is a part of New York. Pelli’s tower is the anchor of a new city, a kind of Shanghai on the Hudson, that has sprung up over the past decade on what was once industrial land. It is an enormous complex—by far the largest cluster of skyscrapers in the region outside Manhattan.

    Pelli has come closer than most architects to figuring out a way to design a skyscraper that expresses both height and dignity and doesn’t seem to be an imitation of the romantic towers of the nineteen-thirties. He started out making buildings, such as the tower above the Museum of Modern Art in Manhattan, that were attempts to reinvent the skyscraper as a pattern of glass, and he moved on to buildings, such as the World Financial Center and Carnegie Hall Tower, that leaned too heavily on older skyscraper forms. Now he has transcended both his first modern period and his retro period. Like the tower Pelli just finished for Bloomberg on the upper East Side, the Goldman Sachs building mixes a classic modern look with soft, flowing lines. The building’s profile is telescoped, and its corners are cut into a series of small steps, which both reduces the visual impact of the tower’s bulk and provides a plethora of corner offices. The façade consists of a pattern of metal lines set over glass, making for a rich, warm texture. The building is the only grace note on the Jersey City skyline.

    It took a long time for Jersey City to reach the point where someone would want to put up a building as good as this one. The first developer to realize that you could exploit Jersey City as an extension of Manhattan was Sam LeFrak. In the late nineteen-seventies, LeFrak built Gateway Plaza, a set of concrete towers in Battery Park City that have none of the architectural gentility of the rest of the complex, which was constructed later by other developers under a different master plan. After dropping out of the Battery Park City project, LeFrak joined forces with Melvin Simon, a shopping-center developer who was seeking a partner to build a mall in Jersey City. LeFrak shifted his attention across the river, and in the mid-eighties, on a portion of the Jersey City waterfront he named Newport, he built not only the giant shopping mall that Simon had envisioned but also a cluster of high-rise residential towers and some glass office buildings. It is a dreary assemblage, but it was a big hit. Compared with real estate in Manhattan, the towers were inexpensive to build and inexpensive to rent, and LeFrak could promise tenants all the shopping they wanted, along with spectacular river views, one transit stop away from Wall Street—or just a few steps away from their desks, if they happened to work for the financial firms that had moved their back offices into Newport’s commercial buildings.

    The Newport towers—among which are two named the Southampton and the East Hampton—were placed behind gated guardhouses around a small central plaza in front of a huge parking garage. Newport is less a city than a suburbanite’s idea of what a city might be if all the unpleasant people went away. The buildings float in space, disconnected from one another, and the streets seem designed to ease the movement of traffic rather than the movement of pedestrians. (Not that the traffic moves so well. The routes through the place are confusing, and traffic is often backed up.)

    More ambitious developers followed LeFrak, as well as corporations like Goldman Sachs, which looked to Jersey City during the peak of the nineteen-nineties boom, when projections indicated that its workforce would grow to thirty thousand people by the end of the decade, and there seemed to be no place in lower Manhattan to put all of them. The company’s headquarters, at 85 Broad Street, had filled up, and employees were spread out in several other buildings downtown. The Jersey City site had room for expansion and spectacular views, and it was handy. It is easier to get to Jersey City from Wall Street than to much of the rest of New York, even though you have to cross a state line, not to mention a vast psychological barrier. Ferries connect it to several different points in Manhattan, and the trip takes about as long as it does to go under the river on a path train, and a lot less time than to drive through the Holland Tunnel. The Jersey City waterfront is one of the few parts of the New York City region that are nicer to reach by mass transit than by limousine.

    As Jersey City grows, you can sense a yearning to make a real city, even though it looks as if it were being put together by someone who has never been anywhere other than a mall, or perhaps an airport. The Goldman Sachs building, which is on the site of an old Colgate factory at Paulus Hook, at the south end of the Jersey City waterfront, is more than a mile from Newport, at the north end. In between there is a set of office buildings called the Harborside Financial Center; a long, low Hyatt hotel on a pier stretching out into the Hudson; and a few more condominiums. The office buildings encompass all of the architectural clichés of the moment—a bit of neo-traditional cast stone here, a bit of neo-modern steel and glass there. Most of them are mediocre, but no more so than office towers elsewhere. The problem is how little, in the end, they add up to.

    In a great or even a good city, the whole is usually more than the sum of its parts. In Jersey City, the parts and the whole are essentially the same thing, an incoherent splatter of buildings. It is not easy to traverse the place on foot, even if you don’t mind walking the equivalent of thirty Manhattan blocks, because the streets don’t always connect—a lot of the time there aren’t any streets. There are parking lots and open spaces and vacant lots and garages, many of which are set on wide streets that aspire to be boulevards but which look more like highways. The intersection of Hudson Street, the first street in from the waterfront, and Exchange Place comes the closest to feeling as though it might be a real city corner, but it lacks energy. The Newport mall sucks up much of the retail activity. There is a riverfront promenade of sorts, but it isn’t nearly as well designed or as well landscaped as the one at Battery Park City. Its chief asset, besides the water itself, is the New York skyline.

    As the Goldman Sachs building was rising, the company’s executives learned that many of their highest-ranking employees thought of Jersey City as Siberia, and a plan to send some of the firm’s powerful trading departments to the new building collapsed. This spring, lower-level support departments such as technology and real estate began moving into it, and a lot of the space originally intended for financial executives remained empty. The most significant long-term effect of the building may be that it changed the view Goldman Sachs has of New York. It was thought that the company still needed a new main headquarters building in lower Manhattan, but the old Financial District, which is centered around the Stock Exchange, was abandoned, and plans were made for a new tower in Battery Park City, on the New York side of the Hudson. Goldman’s new New York building, which is being designed by the firm of Pei Cobb Freed, is opposite the Jersey City skyscraper. Workers will presumably shuttle back and forth across the river between the two towers. “We call this our Venice strategy,” Lloyd Blankfein, the president of Goldman Sachs, said to me.

    The pleasantest way to move along the Jersey City waterfront is by climbing onto what is officially called the Hudson-Bergen Light Rail System, which is to say a trolley. “Light rail” is an appealing form of mass transit for cities today, since it requires relatively little infrastructure—no subway tunnels or elevated tracks—and it brings in federal subsidies. This one connects the mall, the path stations, and Liberty State Park, just to the south. The trolley is uncrowded most of the time, and one suspects that many of the passengers are using it not as a form of mass transit but to reach their cars, which have been parked an inconvenient distance from the pseudo urban center.

    Just to the west of the waterfront district, blocks of renovated brownstones have created a small but solidly gentrified quarter not unlike many parts of Brooklyn. But this pleasing, small-scale urbanity has not made its way into the new waterfront area any more successfully than the energy of Manhattan has. The new waterfront has the ambitions of Manhattan, but its real nature seems to lie somewhere much deeper in New Jersey, in its suburban heart.

    The waterfront literally has no depth—it extends only a few blocks in from the Hudson—and it has no conceptual depth, either. Since it is also a place where some of the office workers live and shop, it ought to feel more like a real city, but instead we have a place with no center other than a suburban mall and, at least until Goldman Sachs came around, not a single building that could be considered a notable piece of architecture.

    Why isn’t this place better? What makes Jersey City attractive to tenants—the fact that it is shiny and new and free of the messiness of New York or, for that matter, Newark—is the very thing that condemns it to a kind of terminal banality. Cities are heterogeneous by their very nature. They are built around public places, the most important of which are streets, and they are resistant to too much order. Great cities are eccentric and surprising. The only quirky thing on the whole Jersey City waterfront is the immense octagonal Colgate clock next door to the Goldman Sachs tower. The clock is left over from the days when the site was a factory complex.

    Jersey City doesn’t measure up in any way to the big-time expansions of great financial districts, places like Canary Wharf in London and La Défense in Paris, which have a kind of bombastic power. The tall buildings of Jersey City emanate an aura of prosperity and vigor when you look at them from the other side of the Hudson, but, when you cross the river and get close, these new skyscrapers seem to offer little but a stark, prim cleanliness. For a lot of people, it seems, that is enough.

    www.newyorker.com

  14. #119
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    Wow, talk about writing with an agenda.

  15. #120

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    I heard that the Statue of Liberty actually is not part of New York City. is it part of Jersey city then?

    I hope Jersey City does grow faster. This competition between NYC and JC is stupid. Both cities get richer from the growth of each other. Anyway, JC will never go over New York skyline. JC will pobably even never build a building taller than NYC tallest building.

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