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General / Whole Foods Jersey City Is Now Official
« on: 09-14-2020, 12:49pm »
Whole Foods Jersey City Is Now Official
Whole Foods Jersey City will open on the corner of Washington and Columbus
By LJ -
September 12, 2020

Signage for Whole Foods Jersey City is finally up. The organic grocer has posted a “coming soon” sign at its future home on the corner of Washington Street and Columbus Drive (also known as Harborside 4A).

Harborside 4A is a 10-story building with a parking garage that spans seven stories. Whole Foods Jersey City will take up roughly 47,542 square feet of space from the complex, including the spaces formerly occupied by HopsScotch and Five Guys.

“Our neighborhood, and Jersey City as a whole, has been in need of a quality, organic grocer for some time now and we are very excited to be the ones to make that a reality,” said Mack-Cali SVP of Communications, Deidre Crockett.

The Amazon-owned grocer will also open its new Northeast headquarters in Jersey City.

“The Whole Foods team have also chosen the waterfront space of Harborside 3 as their new Northeast headquarters, which supports the strength of the Jersey City market,” Crockett told Jersey City Upfront. More...


Fulop: Agreement reached to develop part of 6th Street Embankment, build park on rest
Updated Oct 24, 2019; Posted Oct 24, 2019
By Joshua Rosario | The Jersey Journal

The 15-year legal battle for the Sixth Street Embankment in Downtown Jersey City could come to an end under a proposed settlement that would allow the city to build an elevated park on the former rail line, Mayor Steve Fulop said.

The settlement, which has been agreed upon in principle but not finalized, would allow New York developer Albanese Organization to build two residential towers at the eastern end of the six-block embankment. The city, in turn, would gain control of the rest of the land and build an eight-acre elevated park, similar to New York’s High Line, Fulop said. Read more

Johnson & Johnson ordered to pay $8 billion to man after he grew some titties
October 9, 2019

Man claims Johnson & Johnson’s product had him out here growing titties, Johnson & Johnson is ordered to pay him $8 billion.

Nicholas Murray sued Johnson & Johnson after claiming that their antipsychotic product Risperdal caused him to grow breasts after he started taking it in 2003. He was awarded $680,000 in the first lawsuit at the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas. Murray says he started taking the drug after a psychologist diagnosed him with Autism Spectrum Disorder.

Murray’s lawyers, Tom Kline and Jason Itkin said in a statement:

 “[The] jury told Johnson & Johnson that its actions were deliberate and malicious. The conduct that the jury saw in the courtroom, was clear and convincing that J&J disregarded the safety of the most vulnerable of children. This is an important moment, not only for this litigation, but for J&J, which is a Company that has lost its way."

Johnson & Johnson was ordered to pay $8 billion in punitive damages to the man. Murray stated that he wasn’t warned about the effects and risks of Risperdal and was unaware that it may make you grow breasts.

John & Johnson says it plans to appeal the ruling, calling it  “grossly disproportionate with the initial compensatory award in this case”, and says it’s confident that the case will be overturned.

The company stated that the court and jury did not hear how the label for Risperdal “clearly and appropriately outlined” the risks associated with the medicine.

Previously a judge ruled that New Jersey law which prohibits punitive damages should be applied to all cases, but a judge ruled in 2018 that punitive damages were permitted, and should be determined by where each plaintiff lives.

Dining / Re: Bread & Salt
« on: 10-08-2019, 02:20pm »
The New York Times has reviewed Bread & Salt. Good thing I went last summer, before you.

Chasing the Perfect Slice, Bread and Salt in Jersey City Looks to Rome

Bread and Salt
NYT Critic's Pick / ★★ / Italian;Pizza / $ / 435 Palisade Avenue, Jersey City

By Pete Wells
Oct. 8, 2019. Updated 1:15 p.m. ET

For a long time, the seriousness of a pizzeria could be gauged by a simple yes-or-no question: Did it sell pizza by the slice? The ones that cared the most about upholding traditions, maintaining quality and so on — like Totonno’s, John’s of Bleecker Street, Kesté, Lucali, Una Pizza Napoletana — emphatically did not.

Today, we live in the era of the elevated slice joint. Some of them, like Scarr’s, grind wheat berries into new flour every day. Many use minuscule quantities of yeast; others abandon commercial yeast altogether in favor of the natural leavening in sourdough starters. There are slice joints that ferment their dough for a day, some that let it bubble away for two days and a few that go in for three days. A new example of the breed, F&F Pizzeria, opened in Brooklyn last week with the help of a baker whose starter dough has traveled internationally and another baker who has decades of experience at the end of a pizza paddle. Among themselves, these new-school pizza makers speak of hydration levels, fermentation periods and digestibility.

Many of these slice masters are chasing an ideal version of the foldable, portable triangle sold across linoleum counters in all five boroughs, a search suffused with nostalgia for an era before processed cheese, sweetened sauce and wholesale dough. Others are celebrated for achievements in the square slice, a descendant of the Sicilian, with an airier, less doughy crust; leaders in this style include Corner Slice and Mama’s Too.

Perhaps the smallest group of all are the bakers who turn their eyes toward Rome, where the slices are rectangular and are known as pizza al taglio. They resemble focaccia more than a $3 slice from Ray’s, and it’s doubtful that the practitioners of this style even think of themselves as belonging to the elevated-slice movement. But I’d argue that they do belong to it, and that some of the most elevated slices in the area at the moment are the Roman-style ones that Bread and Salt sells inside its bakery and restaurant on Palisade Avenue, up in the Jersey City Heights. Read more

Man Arrested After Eating Free KFC For A Year Claiming He's From Head Office

We've all got a mate who's gone back around the drive-thru, claiming an item has been 'missed' from their order even though it's most definitely right in front of them - only be met with a polite apology before receiving a substitute for said 'missing' item (and sometimes an extra portion of chips to soften the blow).

But what one 27-year-old fella did was quite close to genius - only it just missed the mark because he has now been arrested and will appear in court after allegedly scamming his way to eating free at KFC for an entire year.

The South African man is reported to have told employees of the fast food chain that he had been sent from the KFC headquarters for quality checks to make sure the chicken was up to standard.

According to India Today, the University of KwaZulu-Natal student would walk in with confidence and tell staff he was there for quality assurance checks of the food served in the restaurant.

It has also been reported that the unnamed man carried an ID card from 'head office' and would dress very smart - even arriving in a limousine. Credit where credit's due, that's dedication.

Well, according to Xpouzar, the man's friend is a part-time limo driver and seemed to be a pretty good alleged accomplice for pretending you're a man with status, by the sound of things.

A member of staff from KFC told Xpouzar: "When he arrived we would all try to act our best so that we didn't piss off the man from head office - he was so convincing because he was so confident, and even colleagues from other branches of KFC know him.

"When he came in, he rushed to the kitchen and checked everything, taking notes and then asked for samples of whatever he wanted. He probably worked for KFC before because he knows everything."

The story was shared on Twitter by a Kenyan journalist who tweets from an account called 'The African Voice'.

The post currently has 22,000 likes and 10,000 retweets with people dubbing the KFC impostor a 'hero'.

One person commented: "They should give that man that job already." Another added: "Not all heroes wear capes.."

A third person wrote: "He is a legend and is now very experienced taster. KFC should employ him."

An almost flawless plan... until he inevitably got caught. Unlucky, mate.

Jersey City Awarded $3.5 Million for Morris Canal Greenway Upgrades
November 14, 2018

JERSEY CITY – Mayor Steven M. Fulop and the Jersey City Redevelopment Agency (JCRA) have been awarded a $3.5 million grant from the New Jersey States Department of Transportation (NJDOT) to develop segments of the historic Morris Canal into a Greenway in Jersey City. The project will construct segments of a linear alignment along the footprint of the former Morris Canal, combining on-road and off-road elements to link together portions of a contiguous route that spans eight miles from Lincoln Park at the Hackensack River to Morris Canal Park at the Hudson River.

The Morris Canal, a 102 mile canal that stretches across six counties in New Jersey, was originally a 19th century iron and coal freight corridor that connected the Delaware and Hudson rivers. The Morris Canal Greenway Working Group, founded by the North Jersey Transportation Planning Authority (NJTPA), has aimed to develop the route of the historic canal into a 111-mile continuous pedestrian and bicycle trail.

“Transforming this historic pathway into the Morris Canal Greenway is a major step forward for Jersey City and the State, providing open space and off-street, multimodal paths for safe transportation that will improve connectivity between neighborhoods,” said Jersey City Mayor Steven M. Fulop. “The City is committed to the Vision Zero initiative, aiming to eliminate all traffic fatalities by 2026, making our roads safe for travelers on bike, foot, car and more. The Morris Canal Greenway will significantly contribute to this initiative as we continue to improve sustainability and quality of life for our community.”

In 2013, the City completed an NJTPA-funded study, which resulted in the Jersey City Morris Canal Greenway Plan. Based on study findings, the City has moved forward with plan recommendations like Berry Lane Park, an area that transformed 17-acres of former rail yards, junk yards, auto repair shops, industrial facilities and warehouses into recreational space in 2014. The plan also outlines the bicycle and pedestrian pathway that would run throughout the Greenway.

“The City continues to make significant advancements towards its goal of creating a safer bike and pedestrian-friendly environment, with the Vision Zero initiative, a Bike Master Plan, and major infrastructure investments,” said Barkha Patel, Senior Planner, Division of City Planning. “The Morris Canal Greenway will be a unique addition to the City’s transportation network that preserves a historic asset, creates open space and allows residents and visitors to get around in a safe, comfortable, and active way.”

The project will improve connectivity between residential neighborhoods and downtown/waterfront areas, expanding access to employment, educational, commercial and community centers. Activity centers to be connected by the project include Our Lady of Mercy Church/School, McGovern Park, Mercer Park (Hudson County), Soaring Heights Charter School, Berry Lane Park, Lafayette Park, Garfield Avenue Light Rail Station, among other highly frequented destinations.

Sports, Recreation & Hobbies / Re: Hiking the Morris Canal
« on: 11-14-2018, 02:01pm »
From a Fulopian email :fulop: :

Five years ago, the Jersey City Morris Canal Greenway plan was created after a NJTPA-funded study. The findings outlined a master plan for the City to create a bicycle and pedestrian greenway on the historic Morris Canal. This week, we move forward on that plan as the City was awarded a $3.5 million federal grant to begin construction on the Morris Canal Greenway.

The historic Morris Canal will provide a route that spans across eight miles from Lincoln Park at the Hackensack River to Morris Canal Park at the Hudson River. This project will boost the connectivity between neighborhoods in the City, providing expanded access to employment, educational, commercial and community centers.

As we look to eliminate all traffic fatalities by 2026 through the Vision Zero Initiative, the Morris Canal Greenway will play an additional role in the City’s transportation network. The greenway will serve as a unique use of open space, with a multimodal path that accommodates all road users.

We've implemented several successful initiatives, projects and plans to develop a holistic solution to enhancing roadway safety, including the Vision Zero initiative, a Bike Master plan and major infrastructure investments. I am proud to share this milestone with you, as the Morris Canal Greenway will significantly contribute towards advancing our city in these efforts.

Steven Fulop

General / Re: New Recycling rules.
« on: 09-25-2018, 02:58pm »
So pretty much no plastic takeout containers are recyclable. :canteven:

Tickets bought.

In today's NYT:

Opinion: Pressing Pause on Pot Convictions
By Steven M. Fulop and Jacob V. Hudnut
Mr. Fulop is the mayor of Jersey City, where Mr. Hudnut is the chief prosecutor.
July 29, 2018

JERSEY CITY — Every city in America knows that it’s a bad idea to prosecute low-level, nonviolent marijuana offenses. It wastes scarce municipal resources and does nothing to enhance public safety. What’s more, even though whites and blacks use marijuana at similar rates, blacks are more harshly punished for it.

That’s why, on July 19, marijuana offenses were effectively decriminalized in Jersey City, New Jersey’s second most populous city.

Prosecutors treated every marijuana case that day as a violation instead of a misdemeanor, unless driving under the influence was involved. We told our prosecutors to ask for no more than a $50 fine, or just five hours of community service if the defendant couldn’t pay that fee. Instances like the absence of any public nuisance or a low likelihood of re-offense would warrant outright dismissal. We also stressed the importance of diverting people with an obvious drug addiction toward social services.

The goal of the policy was to avoid the collateral consequences of a conviction. Our assistant prosecutors approved. It meant less time subpoenaing police officers for marijuana prosecutions that had zero impact on public safety, and more time preparing for more consequential prosecutions of assault, theft and domestic violence.

Police officers also gave us positive feedback. They felt free to set aside enforcement of low-level, nonviolent marijuana offenses in favor of spending more time keeping our city safe by pursuing violent offenders. Brave young people don’t enlist in police academies to pursue pot smokers; they enlist to make a difference by keeping secure the streets where their family, friends and neighbors live.

We were excited to propose a solution to a problem that affected the entire state, not just our city. Each year, there are more than 25,000 arrests for simple marijuana possession in New Jersey. It is estimated they cost the state more than $1 billion each decade in policing, court operations, probation and jailing. Much of these costs fall on municipalities, like Jersey City, that are already short on cash. Most alarming is that people of color are three times more likely to be arrested than white people despite similar rates of marijuana use.

The collateral consequences of marijuana possession are considerable. Someone arrested for it could get a criminal record, have her driver’s license suspended, lose student financial aid, be banned from public housing, have a harder time securing a job or potentially get deported.

Unfortunately, our policy had a very short life. A little over 24 hours after we put it in place, Gurbir Grewal, the attorney general of New Jersey, voided it as an overreach of municipal prosecutorial authority, though we believe that the policy was supported by laws and legal precedent affording municipal prosecutors the discretion to downgrade or dismiss complaints for good cause.

If the realities of expensive and racially disparate marijuana prosecution aren’t “good cause,” then what is?

We asked to meet with Mr. Grewal and persuaded him to convene a working group that would advise him on a statewide directive to clarify municipal prosecutors’ discretion in marijuana cases. He also agreed to adjourn all marijuana-related prosecutions in municipal courts statewide for six weeks.

Meanwhile, the State Legislature is expected to vote on legalizing marijuana by September. If the various measures related to the issue pass, they could effectively end prosecution of marijuana possession in New Jersey.

Now, the question is: What are the rest of the country’s attorneys general waiting for?

Prosecutors in New York City and Philadelphia effectively decriminalized marijuana quite some time ago, and the sky didn’t fall. In New York, Gov. Andrew Cuomo recently embraced a state health department report calling for legalization. In Pennsylvania, the mayors of Philadelphia and Pittsburgh have all but conceded that legalization is inevitable.

Those states’ attorneys general should also impose statewide moratoriums on marijuana prosecution.

Who can name a good reason to continue burdening people of color with life-altering criminal convictions for something whites do without the consequence of conviction? Who with a straight face can argue that towns should continue spending their overstretched local resources on enforcement that does nothing to keep our streets safe?

In 1935 the Supreme Court declared that a prosecutor’s job is more than merely winning every case by racking up convictions; it also includes seeing that justice is done. We in Jersey City followed that principle on marijuana. The state attorney general did recently, too. Every state on the verge of marijuana legalization should follow us and do the same.

This N.J. city is decriminalizing pot: Here's what it means
Updated Jul 18; Posted Jul 18
By Terrence T. McDonald
The Jersey Journal

Jersey City is implementing a marijuana decriminalization policy that its mayor and new chief municipal prosecutor believe will increase racial justice while protecting public safety.

The policy, which is expected to begin officially tomorrow, will downgrade some marijuana charges to non-criminal offenses; encourage prosecutors to seek dismissal of low-level marijuana charges; and recommend diverting defendants with a criminal past and signs of addiction to the city's community court.

Jersey City's move indicates that Jake Hudnut, who became chief municipal prosecutor on July 2, is taking an aggressive stance in his new role. Hudnut, 35, is a former criminal defense attorney who ran unsuccessfully for the Ward E council seat in November. During his council campaign, he often referred to the toll the criminal justice system takes on the city's communities of color, an argument he made again on Wednesday during an interview at City Hall.

"What gives me pause is that despite similar cross-racial usage of marijuana, New Jerseyans of color are three times more likely to be arrested and prosecuted for marijuana than white New Jerseyans," Hudnut said. "I think prosecutors have an obligation to acknowledge this and fix this problem."

The change, outlined in a July 19 memo Hudnut sent to his assistant prosecutors, instructs them to amend five marijuana-related offenses — possession; possession while in a motor vehicle; being under the influence; use or possession with intent to use drug paraphernalia; and loitering to obtain or distribute a controlled dangerous substance — to non-criminal dispositions. The change will not apply to someone charged with driving while intoxicated.

Hudnut is recommending a fine of no more than $50 or five hours of community service if marijuana charges are not dismissed. Marijuana possession as normally charged as a disorderly person offense carries up to six months in jail.

The change doesn't mean you can spark up anywhere in Jersey City and avoid arrest. Mayor Steve Fulop said on Wednesday police will "use their discretion" if they spot someone, say, smoking pot on their front stoop, but in the end Hudnut and the assistant prosecutors will decide whether to recommend dismissal of the charges. Read more

News / Re: Buttocks News and Information Thread
« on: 06-15-2018, 03:05pm »
Hearing on Polish statue pushes council meeting into wee hours
Updated 12:15 PM; Posted Jun 14, 3:18 PM
By Terrence T. McDonald
The Jersey Journal

[...] When Kulowski left the podium — it was about 1:20 a.m. at this point — he said to Lavarro, "Why don't you kiss my hairy butt? And be careful it's very hairy. My butt is very hairy."

Snoop Dogg to headline Jersey City's July 4th extravaganza
Updated 8:44 AM; Posted 8:38 AM
By Patrick Villanova
The Jersey Journal

One of rap's biggest and brightest stars is spending his Fourth of July in Jersey City.

Mayor Steve Fulop announced today that Snoop Dogg will headline the city's fifth annual July 4th festival on the Hudson River waterfront next month. The all-day outdoor celebration at Exchange Place will feature food, beer gardens, music and entertainment, a fireworks spectacle presented by Grucci, and of course, a performance by the world-renown rapper.

For nearly three decades, the West Coast lyricist has been among the most popular rappers -- and personalities -- in the music industry. Snoop Dogg, 46, whose legal name is Calvin Broadus has sold 35 million records worldwide since album debut in 1993.

"I think the Jersey City side of Hudson River is going to be the place that people want to be for the 4th of July this year. Period," Fulop said in a statement. "Between Ellis Island, the Statue of Liberty, Grucci, and Snoop, we are raising the bar."

The celebration drew 100,000 attendees a year ago when Jersey City's own, Kool & the Gang, headlined the festival. However, the city expects some 200,000 people to attend this year's festival, which kicks off at noon and is free to the public.  Read more

News / Re: Stupid Headlines - Post Them Here
« on: 05-30-2018, 09:47am »
Anal Cunt’s Josh Martin dies after falling off escalator
By BrooklynVegan Staff May 29, 2018 2:07 PM

Jersey City pitches $180M plan to buy 100-acre riverfront site
Updated May 22, 5:29 PM; Posted May 22, 3:33 PM
By Terrence T. McDonald
The Jersey Journal

JERSEY CITY — Jersey City is considering whether to buy the 100-acre Bayfront site on the Hackensack River waterfront, a potentially $180 million plan that Mayor Steve Fulop told council members would be an "aggressive" albeit expensive way to ensure a large amount of affordable housing on the city's west side.

The plan is one of three Fulop pitched to council members Monday night for Bayfront, which is set to become one of the city's largest residential neighborhoods. The area, located just south of the Hudson Mall, is a swath of land that local activists spent decades fighting to rid of chromium contamination.

The proposed development represents a "once in a lifetime" opportunity to reshape that section of the city, Fulop told council members.

Of the three options the city has for the site, purchasing it would be "the most ambitious and the most aggressive but also I think bears the most positive results for the future of the city ultimately," he said.

The purchase price would be about $105 million, plus up to $80 million to add new infrastructure. The city would act as the master developer, potentially divvying the land up among multiple developers.

There is no looming council decision on Bayfront, but Fulop said he wanted council input on the three proposals. He said Honeywell wants to sell the site by the end of 2018. Read more

Council members uneasy about lifting topless ban on women
Updated 5:25 PM; Posted 4:23 PM
By Terrence T. McDonald
The Jersey Journal

JERSEY CITY — An attempt to rewrite the city's 1980s-era obscenity law received a somewhat chilly reception by members of the City Council at its Monday caucus, with council members expressing specific concern over the plan to lift the ban on women appearing topless in public.

The measure, which deals specifically with sex toys, female breasts and body parts in intimate areas, led to an unusually uncomfortable and occasionally giggly conversation among council members. Ward D Councilman Michael Yun was unwilling to utter the word "breasts," referencing them as "those things" instead.

The obscenity law rewrite was inspired by a local burlesque performer who canceled a March performance after the city said it might violate the current obscenity ordinance, which dates to 1982. The proposed replacement was spearheaded by Ward E Councilman James Solomon.

The changes include dropping all references to "obscene devices," i.e., sex toys (the current law limits personal possession of sex toys to five per person), and redefines "obscene" to reference a 1973 U.S. Supreme Court decision largely considered the final word on what is and is not obscene.

But it appears reversing the topless ban is what makes some on the council the most nervous. The current law includes "female breasts" in the definition of naked, while the new version would include areas only below the waist.

"If somebody wanted to walk down the street topless, like, I have my granddaughter," said Councilman-at-large Daniel Rivera. "That would kind of like bother me a little bit."

New Jersey law is vague on whether it's legal for women to expose their breasts in public. State appellate judges have upheld local topless bans aimed at women.

Solomon attempted to persuade council members Monday night that lifting the topless ban would not lead to any drastic change. He noted that New York City has allowed women to go topless in public since 1992 and that city has since become "less seedy," not more. Read more

Downtown / Jersey City expands Downtown pedestrian mall
« on: 05-22-2018, 02:08pm »

Jersey City expands Downtown pedestrian mall
Updated May 21, 8:29 PM; Posted May 21, 8:29 PM
By Terrence T. McDonald
The Jersey Journal

Jersey City expanded the popular Newark Avenue pedestrian plaza by about 500 feet on Monday, closing off vehicular traffic on the street between Jersey Avenue and Barrow Street.

The expansion will keep cars off the block until at least July 19. The city says after then it will determine whether to close it off permanently in the fall. The City Council has already approved borrowing $1 million to pay for raising the street, a playground and more if the larger plaza becomes permanent.

Jennifer Florencio was taking a break with her friend and their two children on the plaza outside Barcade on Monday afternoon. Florencio, 35, lives around the corner from the plaza and said it has become a regular stop for her.

"You can bring your kids and they can run around, you can go shop, you can have a drink, you can eat with all of them outside," she said.

The city closed Newark Avenue between Erie and Grove streets to vehicles in 2014. Read more

Groceries, Bakeries & Delis / CREMA jc
« on: 05-10-2018, 11:46am »
695 Bergen Ave
Jersey City, New Jersey
Facebook @cremajerseycity | IG cremajc


Jersey City Family Opens Crema, a Café on Bergen Avenue
By Jared Kofsky
May 2, 2018

Located in the basement of a brownstone at the corner of Bergen and Duncan Avenues, a new café in Jersey City is hidden in plain sight. However, the business in McGinley Square near the West Side is already seeing plenty of customers come inside.

Owned by longtime neighborhood residents Federico Rodriguez and Michele Boas, Crema has been open for around a month in the former Harry Street Coffee space. The business, which is open daily, is part coffee shop and part ice cream parlor. Read more

Restaurants & Bars / la côte
« on: 05-10-2018, 11:35am »
la côte
199 Warren Street
Jersey City, NJ 07302
Map it


la côte Celebrating Ribbon Cutting on Friday
Thursday, May 10, 2018

New restaurant la côte will be celebrating their ribbon-cutting ceremony on Friday, 5/11 beginning at 1:30pm.

la côte is located at 199 Warren Street in Paulus Hook, in the former Presto's space and just recently launched their soft open. The restaurant is run by a husband-and-wife team who are long-time residents of Jersey City who wanted to bring fresh flavors to the neighborhood.

The menu features cuisine from Nice, where one of the owners is from, and is a blend of Southern France and Northern Italian influences with a focus on simple, high quality and fresh ingredients. Their kitchen will focus on dishes that highlight olive oil, tomato, lemon, fresh herbs and other tastes of the Riviera. Read more

On May 17, 2018, come and support the Jersey City Free Public Library Foundation's Gala: A Celebration of Filipino Culture. Featuring food by Dale Talde of Talde JC and music by DJ kevlove.

May 17, 2018 at the NJCU School of Business, Skyline Room, Harborside Plaza, 200 Hudson Street, Jersey City. Purchase your tickets at

We hope to see you there!

Jersey City, Port Authority settle dispute over taxes
By Terrence T. McDonald
The Jersey Journal

Nearly four years after Jersey City filed a $400 million lawsuit against the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, the two sides have agreed to settle the dispute.

The deal comes one month after both sides met in a federal courthouse in Newark for a three-hour hearing that saw the bi-state agency attempt to get the lawsuit thrown out.

There are few public details about the agreement, which neither side agreed to provide. A Port Authority spokesman said its board of commissioners is scheduled to consider approving it at a meeting next week.

In a statement, Jersey City said the Port Authority has agreed to pay the city $17.8 million for the ownership of a Washington Street parcel that will be the site of new PATH transformers; transfer ownership of the Powerhouse building to the city; increase tax payments it makes to the city by 70 percent annually; and perform a study on the feasibility of a PATH station in the city's Marion section.

"Today's announcement of our agreement with the Port Authority is the major step in reshaping our relationship with an entity that is a major force in Jersey City," Mayor Steve Fulop said in a statement. "This resolution is a positive one for our residents, bringing over $35 million to Jersey City as well as a renewed commitment to several important projects." Read more

Jersey City mayor faces police ire over halting off-duty jobs
Updated Jan 31, 6:47 PM; Posted Jan 31, 6:28 PM
By Terrence T. McDonald
The Jersey Journal

JERSEY CITY -- Mayor Steve Fulop's pledge to end a program that allows cops to make extra cash working off-duty jobs is leading to howls of protest from the city's police force.

The program is under fire thanks to a federal investigation that has led to guilty pleas from 10 people, including a former police chief, Phil Zacche. More cops are expected to be ensnared in the probe.

"For too long the program has been abused with police officers more focused on off-duty work than on-duty work," Fulop said in an email to The Jersey Journal. "The widespread corruption was known by countless officers within the department and the degree of abuse is astonishing."

The mayor's announcement, which he made on Twitter Tuesday following the sentencing of one of the officers charged in the federal probe, led to a flurry of criticism from police officers and their supporters. One city official reported receiving phone calls from 40 angry cops in the 10 minutes following the mayor's Twitter post.

"Mayor Fulop has shared no plan with the union regarding the future off-duty jobs," Carmine Disbrow, president of the Jersey City Police Officers Benevolent Association, said in a statement. "We'd much prefer to have this conversation with him face-to-face than through social media or the press. While we understand the need for change in the way assignments are distributed, we hope that he understands how critically important these jobs are to keeping Jersey City safe."

The officers who have pleaded guilty have admitted participating in a scheme that allowed some cops to accept payments for off-duty jobs they never worked. Cops in charge of assigning the jobs would accept bribes in exchange for approving phony pay vouchers. In a separate investigation headed by county prosecutors, four officers are accused of conspiring to falsify timesheets related to off-duty details. They have pleaded not guilty. Read more

2 N.J. towns just announced they want weed sales
Updated 7:34 AM; Posted Jan 10, 3:57 PM
By Payton Guion
NJ Advance Media for

With the marijuana legalization debate set to heat up this year in New Jersey, leaders in two of the state's highest-profile towns say they have no problem with weed businesses in their cities.

Should state lawmakers legalize pot, count Jersey City and Asbury Park among those likely to be a part of what could eventually be a billion-dollar industry.

A bill to legalize recreational marijuana lets municipalities to decide if they want to allow pot sales and production, or miss out on millions in tax revenue.

On Wednesday, Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop tweeted that he and city officials would be working with the public to "clean up" zoning laws to clarify where dispensaries and grow facilities would be allowed to operate.

Two top officials in Asbury Park also said they're open to marijuana businesses in their town. Mayor John Moor and Deputy Mayor Amy Quinn both said as long as it's regulated by the state they have no problem with weed shops in Asbury Park.

"As long as it's a state law, I would have no problem with it," Moor said, adding that the city passed a resolution two years ago encouraging state lawmakers to legalize marijuana.


Incoming Gov. Phil Murphy said he would sign a bill legalizing marijuana within his first 100 days in office.

State Sen. Nicholas Scutari, D-Linden, introduced a bill last year that would allow people to buy and possess marijuana, as well as establish a taxed and regulated commercial pot market.

That bill allows towns to decide if they want to allow pot sales within their borders, but the decision comes at a cost. Under Scutari's bill, towns that allow weed businesses are able to claim a percentage of tax revenue, while towns that ban pot wouldn't get any tax money.

One estimate found that New Jersey could generate up to $300 million in tax revenue from marijuana.

Government & Politics / Re: Tell Me Who To Vote For
« on: 11-07-2017, 09:13am »
Vote for :fulop:. A vote for :hutz: is a vote for :healy:.

Recording surfaces of Fulop allies allegedly attempting to influence city contract
10/30/2017 07:00 AM EDT

In a grainy, profanity-laced recording from 2014 that Jersey City officials are fighting to keep secret, Mayor Steve Fulop’s top aide and another political ally appear to be trying to steer a city contract to a specific company, circumventing a public bidding process.

“I looked at the RFPs [requests for proposals], and I put Good Energy on top and I put it on his desk. And I said, ‘We’re good, right?’” a man identified as Jersey City employee and Democratic Chairman Shawn “Sully” Thomas says to a man identified as Muhammed Akil, Fulop’s chief of staff, in court documents.

The "desk" referred to in the 13-minute recording is that of city employee Dominick Pandolfo.

Two lawsuits are seeking to force the city to release the recording, a copy of which has been obtained by POLITICO.

The men identified as Akil and Thomas in depositions given in one of the lawsuits discuss dangling a part-time job in front Pandolfo to secure his vote for an energy aggregation contract for which the city had solicited public bids. The company Thomas refers to in the recording, Good Energy, was one of those bidders.

Pandolfo sat on the three-member committee charged with recommending a company for the city contract. Pandolfo served as chief of staff to former Mayor Jerramiah Healy, whom Fulop defeated in 2013.

The February 2014 recording wasn’t made by someone wearing a wire. Rather, it was allegedly left accidentally on the voicemail of Pandolfo’s boss, Jersey City Business Administrator Robert Kakoleski, according to depositions filed by Kakoleski and Pandolfo as part of another city employee’s lawsuit against the city.

The recording is of poor quality and significant portions are inaudible. But the parts that can be made out back up the story included in the depositions, and paint a damning picture of the political culture in Jersey City — a city already notorious for corruption. Fulop, who came to power as a reformer against the city’s ethically-challenged officials, is seeking his second term as mayor in next Tuesday's election.

At the time of the recording, Fulop, a Democrat, harbored statewide ambitions and was laying the groundwork for a gubernatorial run. He unexpectedly chose not to run for governor in late 2016 but his name still surfaces as a statewide prospect. He has gauged allies’ interest in him running for U.S. Senate if Democratic incumbent Robert Menendez is convicted in his ongoing corruption trial, according to The Jersey Journal.

Jersey City spokeswoman Jennifer Morrill refused to answer specific questions about the recording and the circumstances surrounding its discovery. Instead, she sent POLITICO a written statement.

“When this was brought to the mayor’s attention in 2014, he acted swiftly and properly in reporting the tape to the authorities and canceling the bid. It has been the city’s policy for five years to not comment on litigation, and we will remain consistent here,” Morrill said. “As this tape is four years old and the mayor took appropriate action immediately, we think anyone can see that the timing of this points to politics by the former Mayor’s Team during the final stretch of the election.”

On the recording, Akil suggests in graphic language that this isn’t the first time he’s attempted to steer a publicly-bid contract toward a preferred bidder.

“Two f---ing strikes on Kako,” Akil says to Thomas, referring to Kakoleski. “The same f---ing situation, the same f---ing situation with the grant. Who had to pull that s--- through? Me, right? He’s the f---ing B.A. [business administrator]. Handle that, you know? Now I’m doing the same thing again.” Akil never elaborates on what “the grant” was.

Kakoleski said in his deposition that after he discovered the recording on his voicemail, he sent a copy to Pandolfo.

Kakoleski said he played the recording for Fulop.

According to the depositions by Kakoleski and Pandolfo, neither Akil nor Thomas were disciplined. Akil remained as Fulop’s chief of staff for nearly a year after the recording came to light, stepping down only after an unrelated controversy. Thomas, who became Jersey City Democratic chairman in 2013 with Fulop’s support, continued in the role until this year.

The recording begins with Akil speaking to someone on the phone.

“Hey, Good Energy is important to us. And I really like their proposal. I thought their proposal was the strongest. And I’m wondering how the three-person committee is leaning. OK?” Akil says. “So, um … can you check the temperature, please? Yeah, check the temperature and, you know, certain things are important. OK?”

The call concludes, but the recording continues.

Akil repeatedly yells, “Jesus f---ing Christ.”

“This is f---ed up,” Thomas says.

Thomas describes Pandolfo as growing uneasy during their conversation at Pandolfo's desk. “He was kind of like, ‘back off,’” Thomas says, adding that Pandolfo then “walked out.”

Pandolfo had been seeking a part-time job on the staff of Democratic Assemblyman Raj Mukherji, who was then a Fulop ally, and had discussed the prospect with Fulop, according to Pandolfo’s deposition. In the recording, Thomas seems to refer to that potential job.

Thomas says he arranged a meeting between Pandolfo and “Tommy” — identified in depositions as Fulop’s chief political consultant, Tom Bertoli. But after the incident over Good Energy, Pandolfo canceled the meeting.

“I’ve got to be honest with you. This guy makes me f---ing very uncomfortable. He canceled the meeting with f---ing Tommy that he kissed my f---ing ass to get on the f---ing payroll to get this pension,” Thomas says to Akil, referring to Pandolfo. “We were going to f---ing try to work to get something with the f---ing guy because of Good Energy.”

Nothing in the recording explains why Fulop’s aides were allegedly pushing for Good Energy. Last month, the company’s attorney told POLITICO it “never sought to improperly influence Jersey City contract decisions or the contract decisions of any potential customer.”

Reached by phone, Bertoli said the meeting Thomas set up with Pandolfo had nothing to do with Good Energy.

“Shawn putting it together had nothing to do with Good Energy. It was Dominick trying to meet with me,” Bertoli said. “At the time, Dominick was trying to get on the payroll of Raj Mukherji, (in the) Assembly. Basically at that point he figured I would be the one who would helpful for him to do that based on politics.”

Akil and Thomas did not respond to phone calls and an email seeking comment.

Later in the recording, Akil says he has to “call Kako back,” and he gets in touch with him, though it’s unclear if it’s on his office line or via cell phone.

“I’m calling you again because I don’t want another problem. I don’t want another problem, and you don’t want another problem,” Akil says. “You need to speak with the people on your staff, OK? There are only three people, and speak to one or both of the people on your staff, OK?”

Then Akil addresses Thomas again.

“What I don’t like about this, see, f---ing straight up this is the kind of s--- where motherf---ers go to jail,” Akil says. It's unclear from the context whether that's Akil’s own thought or something Kakoleski said to him because Akil follows it up by saying “the f--- it is.”

The Kakoleski and Pandolfo depositions were taken as part of a harassment lawsuit city employee Dan Wrieden filed against the city and Anthony Cruz, director of the Department of Housing, Economic Development & Commerce.

Cruz, Pandolfo and fellow city employee John Mercer were on the three-member contract selection committee.

Pandolfo, in his deposition, claimed Cruz also pressured him to recommend Good Energy for the contract. Cruz’s voice is not heard on the recording, but at one point Akil refers to him when talking about the contract, saying he “understands” and he “f---ing gets it.”

“I don’t want to really have that conversation with John Mercer. John Mercer’s a good guy, but I’m not sure how his head is wired, know what I mean?” Akil says. “I’m definitely not having that f---ing conversation with Pandolfo. Based on what he … reacted to you.”

“Gotta get that guy out of that committee. F--- that,” Thomas responds, referring to Pandolfo.

Akil says he’s hesitant to remove Pandolfo from the committee. “How am I going to transfer his ass out of there? I’ve got to be careful about transferring him out right now,” he says.

Earlier this month, a judge sided with Wrieden’s request to compel the city to release the recording. The city is appealing, arguing the recording violated the state’s wiretapping law.

Another lawsuit related to Wrieden’s is seeking to force the city to release the recording through the Open Public Records Act. That lawsuit, which brought to light the depositions filed as part of Wrieden’s lawsuit, won’t be heard until December.

Fulop critics and activists in Jersey City have called on the City Council to demand the release of the recording and have gathering online petition signatures.

The city has refused to discuss details of the recording, citing pending litigation. But Fulop took to Twitter to claim that news of the recording was timed to damage him politically, and bashed Pandolfo because of his association with Healy.

“This is Former Healy chief of staff making accusation now during election season from 2014 event — reeks of Political season,” he wrote.

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