We hope that today’s “READERS FORUM” will provoke honest and open dialogue concerning issues that we, as responsible citizens of this community, need to address in a rational and responsible way? WHAT’S ON YOUR MIND TODAY?Todays“Readers Poll” question is Do you feel its time that our elected officials admit because of the annual multi-million dollars bond payment the Ford Center shall never make a profit?Please go to our link of our media partner Channel 44 News located in the upper right-hand corner of the City-County Observer so you can get the up-to-date news, weather, and sports.If you would like to advertise on the CCO please contact us at City-County [email protected] comments posted in this column do not represent the views or opinions of the City-County Observer or our advertisers.FacebookTwitterCopy LinkEmail
×The construction walls are down and the Hoboken NJT terminal’s concourse is no longer a maze. (See Brief) The building would have included 27 one-bedroom units, 17 two-bedroom units, 10 three-bedroom units and three studios. Six units in the building would have been affordable housing.The building would have also included roughly 13,000 square feet of commercial space including 3,000 square feet for Big Brothers, Big Sisters, the nonprofit organization.The property, designed by Minervini Vandermark, would have been developed by Advance Realty, which just opened the Harlow at 14th Street and Willow Avenue. The latter building includes a Trader Joe’s set to open this Friday.The proposed Adams Street project required several zoning variances for height, lot coverage, parking, roof and yard setbacks, and development of a non-conforming lot. 1417 Adams St. is in an I-1 Industrial zone which lists office buildings, research laboratories, warehouses and related office buildings, essential utility and public services, and wireless telecommunications towers as permitted uses but not residential mixed use properties, which required the developers to seek a D-1 variance.“I guess my conclusion is that the applicant has failed to meet the burden of proof, in particular, no special reasons have been established to justify the D-1 use variance, and there is a legal standard for that,” said Chairman James Aibel, according to the meeting’s transcripts.“Our city fathers and city leaders have not acted,” he added. “It has been several years. They have not acted on rezoning this area. I think that says to me that we should not be rezoning this matter on an applicant’s desire, but we should be rezoning it based on the will of the people, and the people have said through their elected officials that this area is not ready to be rezoned or changed until there is further exploration.”The seven member board voted 6-1 to deny the application.Previously closed section of Hoboken Terminal concourse reopensThe concourse at Hoboken Terminal that was damaged in September during a fatal train crash reopened on Monday, allowing commuters to pass in front of all the gates instead of being diverted into the waiting room.In April, NJT announced the concourse near Track 5 would be repaired by June. It has been blocked by green plywood barriers.“The full long term permanent repairs are slated for 2019,” said NJ Transit spokesman Jim Smith. “The entire project to restore it to pre-accident condition is 2019 and that includes various structural components that were damaged such as the ticketing office, the concourse, the concourse roof, and mechanical and electrical and electrical communication infrastructures.”Track 6, which had been closed for repairs, will also reopen for service.A federal investigation is continuing into the causes of the crash.For more information see our award-winning coverage of the train crash at Hudsonreporter.com. Trader Joe’s officially opened FridayTrader Joe’s newest location opened on Friday, May 19, at 9 a.m. at the corner of Fourteenth Street and Willow Avenue in the newly developed Harlow. Trader Joe’s carries an array of domestic and imported foods and beverages, including artisan breads, Arabica bean coffees, international frozen entrées, 100 percent juices, fresh crop nuts, deli items, vitamins, and more. “To kick off the official opening, Captain Linda Bilyk, the store’s manager, and the Trader Joe’s crew [were to] gather first thing in the morning for a ceremonial lei-cutting to welcome new customers – Trader Joe’s style,” according to press release from the company. Opening day will include food demonstrations, giveaways, and more.The Hoboken store is approximately 11,700 square feet and will feature hand painted murals of Hoboken landmarks including the Stevens Gatehouse, Castle Point, Sinatra Park, and Hoboken Terminal. The Hoboken location is scheduled to be open from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily. Council approves Newark Street Safety Improvement PlanThe City Council approved the Newark Street Safety Improvement Plan at its meeting on Wednesday.Challenges along the corridor include limited pedestrian crossings, vehicles parking on sidewalks, low rate of vehicles stopping for pedestrians in crosswalks, roadway geometry with poor sight lines, wide pedestrian crossings, high speed turns, lack of loading zones for deliveries, and no bicycle facilities.The plan includes curb extensions at corners to reduce pedestrian crossing distances and vehicle turning speeds and enhance visibility at conflict points, the addition of loading zones to accommodate deliveries, additional crosswalks including a mid-block crosswalk with a pedestrian refuge island between Jefferson Street and Adams Street, a physically separated eastbound bike lane along the south side of the street, and Rectangular Rapid Flash Beacon (RRFB) signs to enhance the frequency of drivers stopping for pedestrians at crosswalks.In addition to the adopted plan, the city will be incorporating an All-Way Stop Sign at the corner of Newark Street and Grand Street, following a determination by Hudson County that a stop sign is warranted at the intersection.For more details on the plan look to our May 7 article “Changes introduced for Newark Street” at Hudsonreporter.com.Hoboken’s 119th Annual Memorial Day Parade will be Wednesday, May 24Hoboken’s 119th Annual Memorial Day Parade will take place on Wednesday, May 24.The parade will assemble at 6 p.m. and step off at 6:30 p.m. from City Hall at 94 Washington St. and proceed north on Washington Street to the reviewing stand at Tenth and Washington Streets in front of the Hoboken Elks Lodge.“This year marks the 119th year of marching up Washington Street to honor those that made the ultimate sacrifice,” states the press release. “It is also the oldest continuous parade in the state of New Jersey.”According to American Legion Post 107 Commander John Carey, this is the first year the parades grand marshal won’t be a veteran.“This year the veterans of Hoboken are proud to announce that Mr. Joe Mindak will be our Grand Marshall,” said Carey in an email.During the parade Washington Street will initially be closed between 1st Street and Observer Highway at approximately 6 p.m. for the assembly of the parade.NJ Transit buses will be diverted to Hudson Street and Bloomfield Street at that time.Washington Street and side streets will be closed as the parade proceeds northbound.Police officers will be on hand to direct traffic throughout the area. Drivers should expect delays in the area during the parade.New farmers market location announcedThis year the “Uptown” Thursday farmer’s market and “Downtown” Tuesday market will join forces for the weekly Tuesday Hoboken Farmers Market located centrally at Church Square Park on Garden Street between Fourth and Fifth streets.The market will be open on Tuesdays from 2 p.m. to 8 p.m. from June 6 to Nov. 21 This year’s vendors will include Union Hill Farms, Melick’s Town Farm, Circle Brook Organic Farms, Pickle-icious, Dr. Pickle, Gina’s Bakery, JC Fish Stand, Naturalvert, Gourmet Fruits and Nuts, and Hoboken Farms.Construction scheduled to start on new southwest traffic signalStarting Monday, May 22, construction is expected to begin on the new traffic signal at Jackson Street and Observer Highway, one of the elements of the Southwest Traffic Improvement Plan.Construction will take place Monday through Friday from approximately 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.Traffic will be maintained the majority of the time with the exception of lane closures necessary during one to two hour periods during approximately three days.Police will be on hand to direct traffic during closures and pedestrian detours will be provided.Hudson County CASA is seeking volunteersLearn how to become a CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocate) volunteer and help foster children find safe and permanent homes. The next information session will be at Little City Books at 100 Bloomfield St, Hoboken, NJ on Wednesday, May 24th at 7:00 p.m. Hudson County Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) is a non-profit organization committed to advocating for the best interests of abused and neglected children. CASA works through trained community volunteers to ensure that needed services and assistance are made available to children while helping to move them toward safe and permanent homes. Hudson County CASA volunteers are everyday people who make a direct impact in foster children’s lives. They are trusted, dedicated adults who seek to improve children’s well-being. CASA volunteers get to know their assigned child and his or her circumstances and provide valuable information to the court. Judges rely on the volunteers’ recommendations to make the best decisions about the children’s futures. For further information, visit www.hudsoncountycasa.orgUrban Arts at Monroe scheduled to host art exhibit May 20On Saturday May 20 from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. the Urban Arts at Monroe will host a student exhibition at Black Rail Coffee at 800 Jackson St.The exhibit will include live music, refreshments, and art including beautiful flower drawings from students in the painting and drawing classes, and collaged watercolor paintings by their Art Exploration, Young Art Explorers, Pre-Schoolers and Toddlers.For more information contact Urban Arts at Monroe at (201) 222-5400.Public invited to Hoboken High School Hispanic Culture Club Hall of Fame inductionOn Wednesday, May 31 the Hoboken High School Hispanic Culture Club will host their 3rd annual Hoboken High School Hispanic Culture Club Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony and Hispanic Heritage Celebration.The event is scheduled to start at 7 p.m. in the Hoboken High School auditorium.The public celebration will feature performances from students, guests, the swearing in of new officers, and the Induction of new members to the Hoboken High School Hispanic Culture Club Hall of Fame.Inductees include Isabel Bruno, Arturo Martinez, and Raul Morales Sr.Under the leadership of Christopher Munoz, the Hispanic Culture Club delves into history to help create an intimate knowledge of the role that Hispanics have played in the history and psyche of the United States and Hoboken.The purpose of the Hispanic Culture Club Hall of Fame is to recognize individuals who have made a positive impact in the Hispanic and Hoboken community.The Hoboken Historical Museum’s 20th annual Secret Garden Tour announcedThe Annual Secret Garden Tour will take place Sunday, June 4 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. The garden tour explores outdoor spaces behind row homes and converted factory buildings throughout the city. For this year’s tour, nine local residents are opening their gardens to tour goers.In honor of the 20th anniversary, this year’s tour includes some popular gardens from previous years, as well as some new additions. One Secret Garden Tour classic on this year’s tour is the Hudson Street garden featuring faux gothic church ruins and a deep soaking pool, but the plantings have been significantly changed, offering fresh surprises for dedicated tour goers.Guided walking tours will start from the Museum, 1301 Hudson St., every half hour, and last about two to two and a half hours.Tour groups are limited in size and filled on a first-come, first-served basis.The tour takes place on foot; comfortable shoes and sun protection are advised and most tour stops involve climbing a few stairs.In conjunction with the tour, Little City Books will host a talk and book signing by noted gardening expert, Jenny Rose Carey, whose latest book “Glorious Shade” offers advice for gardeners challenged by tree or building shade, the Thursday before the tour on June 1 at 7 p.m. The talk and admission is free. Little City Book’s is located at the corner of First and Bloomfield streets.Tickets are $30 in advance at www.hobokenmuseum.org; or $35 on tour day. For more information call (201)656-2240. Children under the age of 13 with a parent or guardian are admitted for free.The tour, a fundraiser for the Hoboken Historical Museum, is sponsored by Hufnagel Landscape Design and Construction Group, with support and assistance from the Hoboken Garden Club. Volunteers are needed to help lead tours; contact [email protected] Lady of Grace 12th annual FunFest announcedFunFest, will take place the weekend of June 3 in Hoboken’s Church Square Park and the surrounding area.“OLG’s Funfest is one of Hoboken’s best summer events with activities for the whole family,” said Chris Gizzo, Funfest chair. “Every year, over 100 parishioners look forward to organizing the event and bringing the community together.” The weekend event will begin with NiteFest on Saturday, June 3 from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. in the OLG Parking lot at 400 Willow Ave.The lot will host an outdoor biergarten, where visitors can enjoy craft beers, sangria, music by DJ Tim Nelson, a variety of food and games of chance.There will also be a cornhole tournament at 6:30 p.m. with a cash prize for the winner.FunFest will continue Sunday, June 4 from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., at Church Square Park, between Fourth and Fifth streets on Willow Avenue.Children can enjoy pony rides, face-painting, and bouncy houses. There will also be various vendors selling art, jewelry, and more.In addition, tours of the 1876 German Gothic Cathedral-style Our Lady of Grace Church will be given at 2:30 p.m. and 3:30 p.m.Listed on the U.S. and N.J. Register of Historic Places, the church features paintings and vessels gifted by European royalty, according to a press release.Following each tour, a concert will be presented by Our Lady of Grace Interim Music Director Kathleen McNally, who will be playing the 1909 Wirsching Grand Organ.She will be accompanied by Parochial Vicar, the Rev. Bruce Hager, a classically trained opera singer.Admission to both the NiteFest and FunFest are free. For more information, see the Our Lady of Grace FunFest website at: http://www.olgfunfest.com or follow on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ourladyofgracefunfest. Cornhole teams can register at [email protected] for $20 per team.NJSEA announces 2017 Pontoon Boat Cruise and Canoe TripsThe New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority’s (NJSEA) 2017 guided pontoon boat and canoe tours of the Hackensack River are set to launch on Tuesday, June 6, and run through Tuesday, Sept. 26.The season includes 37 trips that provide visitors an opportunity to see the Meadowlands up-close while learning about the storied history of the river and the area’s remarkable environmental renaissance over the past few decades.“Our pontoon boat and canoe tours are a spectacular way to experience and gain a new appreciation for the amazing natural beauty and wildlife in the Meadowlands,” said Wayne Hasenbalg, President and CEO of the NJSEA. “Those who have glimpsed the Meadowlands only from surrounding highways or the window of a commuter train are truly in for a treat.”The leisurely, two-hour boat tours and three-hour canoe outings reveal an entirely new perspective of the region that includes acres of preserved wetlands and a thriving ecosystem, all framed by a spectacular view of the Manhattan skyline.An NJSEA guide will narrate the tours, point out wildlife and discuss the Meadowlands’ natural and man-made history along the way. More than 285 bird species have been documented in the Meadowlands, including 34 on New Jersey’s threatened, endangered and species of special concern lists.Canoe excursions focus on the river’s wetlands, taking participants on a journey through a diverse array of vegetation and wildlife. Paddlers learn the basics of salt marsh ecology and enjoy the magnificent scenery while rowing down creeks.Registration sheets are also available at the NJSEA administrative offices and the Meadowlands Environment Center, both located in DeKorte Park in Lyndhurst.For more information, call (201) 460-4677 or email [email protected] The full schedule of trips can be seen on the NJSEA website, http://www.njsea.com, under “2017 Events.” The construction walls are down and the Hoboken NJT terminal’s concourse is no longer a maze. (See Brief) Hoboken Zoning Board denies six-story building with affordable housing, charity groupLate last month, the Hoboken Zoning Board of Adjustment denied an application that would have created a six-story mixed use building at 1417 Adams St.