A video of Jersey City government employee Brooke Hansson going off on an expletive-laced rant about trash strewn around near her Bostwick Avenue home in the city’s Greenville section went public in September of last year. While Hansson gained unwanted attention for getting her point across in a manner that was considered by some as unworthy of her position, she also gained support from some residents for bring attention to a problem that has been plaguing the town over the years – the unwelcome sight of litter in the streets. Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop has undertaken a major initiative to deal with this situation since he was sworn into office in July 2013.
School’s out and summer is here. To cool off in the heat, four city pools will be opened, free for city residents as usual and will again be operated by The YMCA of Trenton. Last year, the city sought to outsource the operation of city pools. The YMCA put in the only valid bid and was awarded a contract at a cost of $205,515. Once the 2015 contract is signed, this year’s planned cost will be slightly more than that, $216,000, because the pools are expected to be open two extra weeks.
The Rutgers University School of Public Affairs & Administration class of 2015 have taken the time to give back to the city of Newark by volunteering. Rutgers has rolled out a Pay it Forward Day where graduating seniors take the opportunity to spend a few hours in one of the many organizations giving back to the community. Students were able to give their service to the Newark YMCA for clothing distribution, the Barat Foundation for a mural painting or the councilman office of Anibal Ramos in the North ward for a neighborhood cleanup. There was also a community gardening with the Boys and Girls Club of Newark and landscaping with UVSO.
Liberty State Park, the expansive green space spanning much of the heart of Jersey City, may seem to most people like it was a creation that came about as result of legislation passed in Trenton. It turns out it was made possible by people in the community, residents who lived only a few short miles away. By now, the story is legendary. One day in 1957, Jersey City businessman and lawyer Morris Pesin got into his car to drive to Manhattan to take his family to a ferry boat that would transport them to the Statue of Liberty, itself a National Park. But after a frustrating three-hour trek just to get into the city as well as Pesin’s realization after reaching Liberty Island that when he looked directly across to the Jersey City shoreline all he saw dilapidated rail cars, garbage, and rotting piers, he felt something had to be done. Over the next 19 years, Pesin, along with his wife, Ethel, and other residents including Audrey Zapp and Ted Conrad fought and eventually succeeded in making over an urban wasteland into an urban jewel that not only provides an access point to Lady Liberty but also a scenic view...
The Chambersburg neighborhood of Trenton was renown for its historic Italian restaurants, and while the cuisine may have changed, the Trenton Council of Civic Associations (TCCA) would like locals to know that “the burg” is still a major food destination. They hope to showcase these new hot spots on Saturday May 16th from 11:00am-8pm with a restaurant crawl that will “rebrand the public image of the ‘burg.” I asked TCCA president, Brian Viehland, some questions about the event:
Who doesn’t want a good meal? Especially when you may be living on the street or otherwise struggling so much to survive that a nourishing soup, sandwich or snack may be the only food that you will have that day. That’s why the role that some Jersey City-based groups and organizations as well as residents play in filling the stomachs of their fellow citizens who are down and out is so crucial to their survival. Whether it is St. Lucy’s Shelter on Grove Street near the Jersey City-Hoboken border or food pantries such as C.A.U.S.E. Center on Bergen Avenue in the city’s McGinley Square section, there is a safety net, albeit tenuous at best.
The westward Citizens Police Advisory Council would like to change the setup design at the next town hall meeting; a public dialogue between the Trenton Police Department and its residents. Ray Ingram and Joe, co-chairs of the Citizens Police Advisory Council, said at the meeting, held last Thursday at police station on Hermitage Ave and Artisan St., that the Masonic Temple’s spacious ballroom seating wasn’t set up in a way that would foster or encourage a conversation between police and the community. Raymond Foose, an employee at the Masonic Hall, said the seats were set up in an “auditorium style.”
Fishermen as barometers of a healthy place West Amwell: The second day of trout season, 2015. (Steve Chernoski) I don’t fish. When I was nine, my parents left me with relatives at a summer trailer campground in southwestern Ohio and I hated it. I was a suburban kid from Ewing and very disconnected from my local waters, even though we lived right alongside the Shabakunk Creek. I did skate on that creek when it froze over, but that’s it. Fishing was too much waiting around and if you caught one, they were slimy and smelled bad. I would rather have been playing video games.
Finding Jersey City’s Female Mayor By Ricardo Kaulessar Writer’s Note: The article was updated to mention additional biographical information about Akisia Grigsby and a correction about the organization co-founded by Grigsby, which is called Open JC not Code JC. The year 2016 will most likely see the first woman elected as President of the United States if Hillary Clinton announced that she is running and avoids any political pitfalls on her path to the White House. The year 2017 will see another mayoral election in JerseyCity. But will it be a woman who will hold the city’s highest office is uncertain.
Homelessness and Community Efforts The frustration in Youth Outcry founder and CEO, Al-Tariq Best’s voice was quite apparent. He was neither yelling nor commanding anything from who would be his driver for the evening; yet, as there was frustration in the pitch of his voice, there was also empathy. Questioning whether his efforts were too small and not as impactful as he wishes, Best concluded the conversation by stating he’ll do as much as possible to shelter the homeless on an ice-cold night in February. This conversation brings forth a critical question of the best method cities like Newark, NJ can take to address the chronic issue of homelessness. As an organization based out of an open ground floor space on Prince Street, better known as the H.U.B.B. (Help Us Become Better) community center, it is clear that Best has resources to help those less fortunate. However, the impact citywide would stretch further with a culmination of organizations coming together to fulfill a shared purpose of eradicating homelessness. Cots and warm flannel blankets were laid out for the evening.