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Messages - shahaggy

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Golf Club for the 1 Percent Wants to Seize a Migratory Bird Habitat
The golf course in Jersey City, N.J., says it needs the land to compete for tournaments. A birder counters, “It’s really just an obscenity.”

JERSEY CITY, N.J. — The snowy owl was first spotted just beyond the 18th hole of one of the most expensive golf courses ever built.

The bird was resting on a sandy beach filled with seashells and driftwood at the edge of Liberty State Park. Waves lapped the New Jersey shoreline of the Hudson River as birders with binoculars stood in awe two years ago.

Nearby, behind a tall black fence, were the willow-lined fairways of Liberty National, an exclusive private golf course where luminaries like Tiger Woods and Brooks Koepka have played, and where the original initiation fee for members was about half a million dollars.


Continue reading the main story

The contrast between the lavish club and the adjacent park, with its hodgepodge of rough-hewed public amenities — both with sweeping views of Lower Manhattan bejeweled by the Statue of Liberty — has been stark since the course opened nearly 14 years ago.

But the two worlds are now clashing as never before in a showdown over the Jersey City golf course’s push to expand into nearly 22 acres of public parkland.

The outcropping of land, known as Caven Point, is a migratory bird habitat where spotted sandpipers and American oystercatchers nest near elevated walkways that allow visitors to wander, from March to October, through tall reeds and onto the sandy beach. The other half of the year the wildlife is considered too fragile to permit access.

But it is there that Liberty National officials say they hope to build three new holes, bringing more of the 18-hole course closer to the water’s telegenic edge and helping it draw high-profile PGA Tour events that supporters say spin off economic benefits for the state.

“If we are not able to accommodate what these tournaments need, then they will simply go somewhere else that can,” said Chris Donnelly, a spokesman for Liberty National.

A key vote in the State Senate related to that effort could come as early as Thursday, marking the latest battle in a long-running history of park advocates fending off private developers hoping to build in the state park.

“To me, it’s really just an obscenity,” said Rick Cordner, an avid birder and the treasurer of Friends of Liberty State Park, a group opposed to the golf course expansion. “It breaks my heart to think there could be a bulldozer out there plowing it under for a golf course.”

The course opened on the Fourth of July in 2006, and takes in about 170 acres of privately owned land, much of it a former toxic wasteland that cost more than $250 million to reclaim. It was thought at the time to be the most expensive golf course ever built.

With founding members that include President Trump’s personal lawyer, Rudolph W. Giuliani, and Robert K. Kraft, the owner of the New England Patriots, Liberty National is no stranger to the levers of power in Trenton and beyond.

One of its owners, Paul B. Fireman, the founder of Reebok who sold his company to Adidas for $3.8 billion, and his family are generous campaign donors, contributing about $420,000 to Democrats and Republicans in New Jersey between 2009 and last year, state records show.

Liberty National’s lobbyist, Eric Shuffler, has worked for two New Jersey governors and was appointed to Gov. Philip D. Murphy’s transition team after his 2017 election.

Mr. Murphy, a Democrat, declined through a spokesman, Mahen Gunaratna, to discuss the proposed expansion.

“We generally don’t comment on pending bills,” Mr. Gunaratna said. “But the governor believes that Liberty State Park is a New Jersey treasure that belongs to every family. He is a strong supporter of protecting our public lands for the benefit of everyone.”

The land Liberty National wants to lease for an as-yet undetermined sum was purchased with state and federal funds, including money meant to conserve land and water. The state would have oversight over any land conversion and the interior secretary would also need to sign off on the plan, according to the state’s Department of Environmental Protection.

Activists have said the proposed land use could be precedent setting and have vowed to challenge it, if need be, in court.

“If you can privatize land purchased with Land and Water Conservation dollars, you’re jeopardizing most of our national parks,” said Greg Remaud, the director of the NY/NJ Baykeeper, a nonprofit conservation organization. “It’s one of our bedrock precedents for land conservation.”

Mr. Donnelly said the new holes would be used to free up other land on the course for staging and hospitality activities that are vital to attracting PGA Tour events like the Presidents Cup and the Northern Trust.

“Each of these PGA events, each one, contributes tens of millions of dollars into the Hudson County and New Jersey economy,” Mr. Shuffler testified last month at a Senate budget hearing.

A spokeswoman for the state’s Economic Development Authority said the agency had no estimate of the economic value to the state from the four PGA tournaments held at Liberty National since 2009.

A spokesman for the PGA Tour, Joel Schuchmann, confirmed that the size of Liberty National had become a consideration, particularly for the Northern Trust, which is the first event in its FedEx Cup playoffs each year.

“It’s true that as the PGA Tour, and the FedEx Cup playoffs specifically, continue to grow in stature and interest among our fans, media and partners, so does the need to make certain the proper footprint is in place,” Mr. Schuchmann said in a statement.

The club’s goal is to move three existing golf holes to Caven Point, freeing up space for event staging and for the creation of an introductory golf program for area children, the First Tee.

In exchange for the right to build, Liberty National has said it would offer unspecified funds for park improvements, create access at certain times to the Caven Point beachfront and provide a jitney to transport people across Liberty State Park.

Golf course officials also say that contaminated land at Caven Point would be remediated, but a state spokesman said the plot was cleaned and deemed safe in 2004 for its current use. “Additional cleanup is not required,” Larry Hajna, a D.E.P. spokesman, said in an email.

The club has gotten backing for the project from the state N.A.A.C.P., in part based on the promise of programming like the First Tee.

“Preserving the park is important, but there is much more at stake for the communities we represent,” the group’s president, Richard T. Smith, wrote in a letter in support of Liberty National’s efforts.

But Daoud David Williams, a lifelong resident of Jersey City and a member of the local N.A.A.C.P., said black leaders in Jersey City were not consulted.

“Whoever got to him,” Mr. Williams said of Mr. Smith, “I think he’s making a big mistake.” Mr. Smith could not be reached for comment.

“I think there’s ulterior motives for offering some quote-unquote ‘inner-city kids’ some lessons in golf,” said Mr. Williams, 76.

This is not the first time the club has tried to expand into Caven Point. It attempted to procure the land during the course’s initial construction and again during the waning days of the administration of Gov. Chris Christie, a Republican.

The state Department of Environmental Protection quietly shelved the proposal once Mr. Murphy took office, but the idea never completely died.

This latest effort is tied to legislation, the Liberty State Park Protection Act, that aims to prevent all but small private development within the sprawling park, which  has repeatedly been eyed for a variety of for-profit ventures, including a marina, amusement parks and a racetrack.

The Friends of Liberty State Park, led by Sam Pesin, whose father was among those responsible for the creation of the park, have spent decades facing off against private developers and had hoped the Protection Act would finally secure the land as a “free and green people’s park.”

Liberty National is lobbying to amend the legislation to allow the state to solicit bids to develop Caven Point.

“This is a billionaire privatization assault for the 1 percent,” Mr. Pesin, 70, said.

The powerful chairman of the budget committee, Senator Paul A. Sarlo, a Democrat, strongly suggested he supported the proposed expansion during the hearing. “There’s a lot of money that we are leaving on the table here quite frankly,” he said.

More than 50 organizations have signed a letter in opposition and are planning a protest rally in the park on Saturday.

Mayor Steven Fulop of Jersey City and the bill’s sponsor in the Assembly, Raj Mukherji, are unequivocal in their opposition to the golf course expansion.

Mr. Fulop said he is grateful for the PGA’s and Mr. Fireman’s extensive philanthropy in Jersey City.

“But there are things, from my point of view, that are untouchable and where we are never willing to compromise,” Mr. Fulop said. “This is one of them.”

Dining / Bread & Salt
« on: 09-12-2019, 10:04am »
I haven't been to Bread & Salt so if anyone has, please add your review.

Calendar / Bike JC 10th Anniversary Ward Tour
« on: 05-17-2019, 03:24pm »
scheduled for Sunday June 2nd, registration is now open and it includes a 25 mile ride!

Really glad this guy got his job back. I remember this case from last year. Did any of the officials lose their job for wasting taxpayer money though?

:rofl: you must be new here :D

Dining / Subculture
« on: 04-18-2018, 08:26am »
260 Newark Ave between Monmouth and 2nd.  Still in soft opening stage, I checked them out last night.  Very cool vibe, the walls are covered in vintage movie and TV posters, good music in the background and 2 monitors set up with Nintendo games you can sit and play while waiting for your meal.  They are more than a store front to grab a sandwich to go, they also have a fair amount of seating.  I only glanced at the menu before ordering the meatball sub which was big enough for me to eat half for dinner and the other half is today's breakfast.  Definitely check them out.   

News / Re: Stupid Headlines - Post Them Here
« on: 04-11-2018, 02:12pm »
'Pizza cops' charged criminally because of department's recent legal troubles: attorneys

By Michaelangelo Conte
The Jersey Journal

News / Re: Stupid Headlines - Post Them Here
« on: 04-05-2018, 01:35pm »
A train packed with Jersey feces is laying waste to an Alabama town :poop:


Dining / Harry's Daughter
« on: 11-22-2017, 08:09am »
Downtown isn’t the only Jersey City ward experiencing a boom in restaurants and boutique coffee shops. Just this week two new restaurants soft opened in Bergen Lafayette, joining an impressive array of new shops and restaurants that already includes Hooked JC, The Grind Coffee Shop, and newly opened Corgi Spirits.

Harry’s Daughter
If the swinging lounge chairs and an in-house coconut cart don’t catch your eye, dishes like Jerk Chicken Nachos and Piri-Piri Style Shrimp are bound to lure you in. Located at 339 Communipaw Avenue (in the former MAE space), Harry’s Daughter is currently in soft open mode.

should we congratulate you on your new business Viduch? 

Restaurants & Bars / Re: Piggyback Bar
« on: 09-06-2017, 03:21pm »
Is this the old Henry's on the Hudson? The views are killer.

yes, it is the old Henry's on the Hudson

Restaurants & Bars / Piggyback Bar
« on: 09-06-2017, 11:49am »
'Top Chef' brings her Asian-inspired eats from NYC to N.J. waterfront

JERSEY CITY -- As New York's dining culture continues to follow its residents across the Hudson River, Jersey City just landed the terrific Asian-infused dishes former Top Chef contestant Leah Cohen has been serving up at the ultra-popular Pig & Khao in the Lower East Side.

Piggyback Bar, a more casual spinoff of Pig & Khao, is located in the Harborside Terminal (200 Hudson St.) alongside the Hudson River and will open Sept. 21.

"We are not as young as we used to be, but we still have that younger, hip vibe that I think a lot of people who are leaving Manhattan and moving to Jersey City may have been missing," said Cohen, 35, who is also moving to Jersey City this fall.

Piggyback Bar will continue to feature Pig & Khao's authentic southeast Asian cuisine, but in more familiar street-style or bar dishes -- and in a space that's more than double the size.

The restaurant and bar is located in the atrium of an office building, but it is not just any office building. Harborside sits on the Hudson River and features a breathtaking backdrop of Manhattan. Piggyback is at the back of the terminal and will feature a bar, a main dining room, an outdoor area and a private room. The 6,000-square-foot space can accommodate 250 patrons.


Crime & Safety / Bike lanes? Think about drivers
« on: 07-21-2017, 09:46am »
if you support protcted bike lanes in Jersey City, please let Stephanie Brooks know, Yvonne Balcer was good enough to provide us her email:

The public is probably not aware of the Jersey City Grand Street Concept Development which really is code for the city's plans on turning Grand Street into another friendly street for bike riders.

Making Grand Street bike-friendly will have an impact on drivers since Grand Street is the access road for many people reaching the Medical Center.

Columnist Father Santora wrote about Hoboken Mayor Dawn Zimmer changing the configuration of Observer Highway for bikers and the resultant massive slowdown in traffic. Do residents want slow traffic if your child is suffering with an asthma attack trying to reach the hospital?

This administration has a hostility towards residents who must use their cars. It is seen in the loss of parking spaces for Citi bikes and the elimination of parking for new construction.

I suggest residents send their comments to Stephanie Brooks at The administration needs to hear to other voices in Jersey City.


A rebirth in Journal Square has been an elusive goal in Jersey City over the years, but a new building boom is demonstrating that the neighborhood’s oft-promised revitalization is finally happening. Now, long time property owners behind a new development are aiming to bring some vibrancy and culture to the area, hoping to have shovels in the ground on their own project by 2019.

Approved late last month, 808 Pavonia Avenue is partially the byproduct of zoning changes that were enacted last year. The City Council amended the Journal Square 2060 Redevelopment Plan to create the Zone 10 Arts District, which aims to facilitate amenities in an alleyway known as Concourse West. The alley currently consists of parking garages and lots behind the historic Loew’s Theater.

The Harwood family, who have had an ownership stake in the over two-acre property since the 1920s, initially revealed plans and a website in March outlining their vision for the land. Slightly modified since then, the approved project now includes five LEED-certified buildings highlighted by two residential towers of 51 and 57 stories.

But while the development will undoubtedly reshape the neighborhood’s skyline, it’s the streetscape changes that might be the most impactful.

“We think this project begins to build a cultural infrastructure in Journal Square,” says Bob Antonicello of GRID Real Estate. He adds the company, who acted as redevelopment advisors, put together the local team behind the oddly-shaped project, which he is proud to say got large community support during the planning and approval process.

In addition to the 1,189 rental units and 970 parking spaces in the project’s two towers, 808 Pavonia will build a 5,000-square foot stand-alone museum and art gallery. The development, designed by New York-based Studio V Design + Planning, also features lots of public open space and amenities including a pedestrian pathway through the alley. Private amenities included in the project include pools and a skyline cabana area.


Jersey City may ask the New Jersey Supreme Court to hear an appeal of the breach-of-contract case it lost last year over the aborted 2011 property revaluation.

The city's attorneys told the state's highest court last week, in a filing known as a notice of petition for certification, that it may ask it to hear an appeal of the $1 million judgment in the case ordered by a Hudson County judge in April 2016. The city has until the end of next week to file the necessary paperwork with the state Supreme Court.

Requests for comment from the city and from the attorney for Realty Appraisal Co., the company that filed the breach-of-contract lawsuit, were not returned.

Realty Appraisal was hired in 2011 to perform the long-stalled reval that Mayor Steve Fulop halted soon after he was elected in 2013. The mayor argued that the company was chosen after a corrupt bidding process, and he accused Realty Appraisal of hiring Brian O'Reilly, who had just retired as the city's business administrator, to help it win the $3.2 million contract.

continue reading...

Restaurants & Bars / Beat Street
« on: 06-23-2017, 12:01pm »
At Jersey City's new '80s hip-hop-flavored restaurant Beat Street, part of the two-year-old Transmission nightclub in the Powerhouse Arts District, you can have hot mac & cheese -- but it's made with sous vide lobster, smoked paprika foam and crumbled Cheez-Its.

Not exactly what the Fat Boys had in mind when they rapped, "Give me some hot macaroni and cheese / Give me some more food please!"

The restaurant and lounge, which opened Thursday night, takes its name from the 1984 movie about breakdancing, graffiti and MCs in the South Bronx. And while the space got a cool graffiti- and music-themed makeover from hip-hop-inspired artist Ivan Orama, Beat Street is really about capturing the energy of the early days of rap, says KC Macias, the nightlife impresario who is teaming with Transmission owner Howard Brunner and chef Darryl Harmon, who calls his eclectic high-end/lowbrow menu "elevated street food."


JERSEY CITY – Mayor Steven M. Fulop announced today that the city of Jersey City is dropping its lawsuit against the Friends of the Loews, the non-profit organization that currently manages the historic Loews Theatre in Journal Square, as the administration and the non-profit work together toward the theater’s future.

“We made a commitment to rebuilding our relationship with the Friends of the Loews so we can have a productive partnership and reach our common goal of restoring the theater to a vibrant community space,” said Mayor Fulop.  “Over the past several months, we have been meeting with the Friends of the Loews and discussing ways we can collaborate on some of the more immediate renovations and work toward future plans.”

“While our dialogues have been positive and constructive, we saw dismissing the lawsuit as the right thing to do as we work together in good faith on the theater’s future,” added Mayor Fulop.


TRENTON -- Jersey City is likely to regain local control of its school district's instruction and programming later this year, the final step in emerging from the state's nearly 30-year takeover of city schools, state Education Commissioner Kimberely Harrington said Wednesday.

The district passed the state's latest review of school instruction, Harrington said at Wednesday's state Board of Education meeting. A resolution to return control of instruction to the district will likely come before the board in a few months, she said, setting the stage for a historic vote.

That resolution is expected to pass, President Mark Biedron said.

"We are moving forward," Biedron said, adding that he hopes to vote as soon as next month. "They're done."

After the vote, the district will be required to develop a transition plan and the state will continue to monitor its performance, he said.


Montclair's Uncle Momo is following the culinary migration east to Jersey City, opening a second outpost of the French Lebanese restaurant in the space occupied by longtime favorite Marco & Pepe, which closed after 16 years in March.

The new location comes on the heels of the opening of Ani Ramen, the no-reservations Montclair ramen house, on Newark Avenue, and with the news that Diesel & Duke, the upscale burger chain with locations in New Brunswick and Montclair, are also planning a Jersey City outpost.

"Jersey City is like the Village," says Ali Lyoussi, who owns Uncle Momo with chef Wissam El Masri. "Everybody is moving from the city. I like the vibe of Jersey City, and the concept we have here in Montclair is not there."

The menu heavily reflects El Masri's Lebanese background (falafel, $13.50; shish kabob, $16-$23; makenek, Lebanese sausage served with pomegranate molasses, $12.95) with a nod to Lyoussi's Moroccan heritage (lamb tagine with almonds and caramelized prunes, $24, while the mood and decor has a French bistro vibe. "When you go inside, you feel like you are in Paris," he says.

The restaurant's pita is celebrated, as is its "pitza," pita with a variety of toppings, from the lemon-marinated chicken ($14) to the shrimp and scallops with garlic and parsley sauce ($15). Expect the same at the Jersey City location at 289 Grove St. Lyoussi expects to open in two or three months.

Meanwhile, Diesel & Duke is shooting for an October opening at 389 Monmouth Street. "It's turned into a beautiful city," says co-owner David Cusumano, who opened the first Diesel in New Brunswick in 2014 with Kevin Rezvani. "The demographics are there. We feel that we can bring something to table there."


Jersey City residents are calling on their mayor to restructure the city’s Mural Arts Program, criticizing the current policies of the nearly four-year-old initiative as inadequate and even harmful for their neighborhoods. An online petition organized by local artist Sarah Ordway demands a proper vetting process for potential murals that includes input from community members, noting that a number of chosen artworks have failed to properly engage with Jersey City’s history and community. As of press time, the petition had garnered more than 100 signatories.

Numerous artworks have frustrated residents since the program’s inception in 2013. Ordway’s petition highlights a mural local artist PAWN completed last Saturday on Sip Avenue, which encapsulates what she sees as the program’s failures. It is, as she writes in the petition, “blatantly insensitive to Native American history and culture,” featuring stereotypical iconography of a wolf howling at the moon and a teepee glowing beneath the torch of the Statue of Liberty.

Other contentious works the program has commissioned include a different piece by PAWN, completed with artist Emilio Florentine, of a Native American woman with an American flag painted on her face, and a mural of David Bowie finished last November by Brazilian artist Kobra — what Ordway describes as a “trendy” tribute to an icon who has no actual ties to the area. Last summer, as Hyperallergic previously reported, a painting of a Monopoly game board by artist Mr. AbiLLity became a heated topic of censorship: Jersey City officials responded to local criticism of the imagery they had initially approved by painting over it entirely.


JERSEY CITY - The city and the Friends of the Loew's could be heading back to court.

A panel of Superior Court judges ruled Monday that a trial court failed to address the city's allegations that the nonprofit group - which manages the Landmark Loew's Jersey theater - breached its leasing contract.

Superior Court Judge Hector Velazquez dismissed the city's claims that the FOL's lease, which is good until 2020, was not valid in during a May 2015 trial. Mayor Steve Fulop had sought to revamp the 88-year-old theater by hiring a concert promoter to manage the former movie theater.

But during that trial, the "court erred by failing to address the city's counterclaim for breach of contract" and "erroneously suggested that the claim had not been properly pled," according to an opinion signed by Superior Court Judges Joseph Yannotti, Robert Gilson and Paulette Sapp-Peterson.


Restaurants & Bars / The Cliff
« on: 04-13-2017, 03:08pm »
taken from AtS:

We are proud to announce our
Grand Opening on Earth Day
Saturday April 22nd 2017

Starting with brunch service from 8 am - 4 pm.
You are cordially invited to join us for a
reception from 4 pm - 6 pm
as we celebrate the much anticipated opening of

The Cliff
38 Congress St
Jersey City Heights

Please RSVP with the number of your party to

Just steps from the 9th Street Elevator lives The Cliff, a neighborhood cafe serving killer coffee alongside wholesome and delicious foods. A secluded backyard and sidewalk tables offer the best outdoor seating in the Heights for Breakfast, Lunch & Brunch.

Grand Opening Reception Details.
Reception will take place at 38 Congress St, Jersey City Heights :

Light refreshments will be served.
Children are welcome.
Reception will take place from 4 pm to 6 pm.
Feel free to share with friends or on social media.
Please send RSVP's to
Looking forward to celebrating with you!

News / Re: Stupid Headlines - Post Them Here
« on: 02-03-2017, 09:01am »
Police station fumigated after men caught in store sex act, report says

By Anthony G. Attrino | NJ Advance Media for
Email the author | Follow on Twitter
on February 03, 2017 at 8:42 AM, updated February 03, 2017 at 8:52 AM

Restaurants & Bars / FM Bar & Restaurant
« on: 02-01-2017, 03:28pm »
from :AtS:

Allow me to introduce myself and shed a little light on the new bar / restaurant called FM opening up at the old Union Republic space at 340 Third Street.

My name is Joe. I've been living in DTJC for about 10 years now.

I'm currently involved with this new endeavor that will be opening up April 2017.

FM is a new restaurant and bar coming to Downtown Jersey City. FM features 1970's decor with Rock & Roll music reflective of the time when FM radio was at it's height.

Our menu features classic comfort food from the 1970's with a twist, using locally sourced ingredients. Our dishes emphasize the balance between creative presentation without compromising simplicity, freshness, and flavor.

Come enjoy a cocktail in our lounge, a delicious meal in our dining room, and soak up the vibe.


Starting with the exterior sign that you took notice of...this was just installed late last week. The needle in the tuner is just there for effect and not specifically referencing any particular radio station of that time. There will be a smaller version of the tuner [fabricated by local artist Thomas John Carlson] inside that will actually be lit up like the original 70's tuners were. For some reason, the city said we couldn't do it to the exterior sign.

Also adorning the exterior is a mural created by Thomas John Carlson. The characters shown in the mural were done by graffiti artist Charlie "DOVES". Thomas will also be painting an interior mural for us as well.

Interior construction is moving along and starting to come together nicely.

We're also starting to take resumes for the following positions:

- Host/Hostess
- Servers
- Bartenders

We are looking to hire local residents to staff FM.

If you or anyone you know may be interested, please contact us at

If anyone has a blog or site that would like to help us out with a little informational piece, we'd be ever so grateful. Please contact us at:

We're very proud to open this space here in DTJC and hope you all will stop by and check us out when the doors open.

More info coming soon.

Stay tuned...

The Barge Inn serves Italian cuisine made from recipes handed down through generations. That’s why the food is so delicious – it’s authentic.

Sally, this article is from February 17, 2015, why are you posting old articles.


Government & Politics / Re: Vote No for 2 city questions
« on: 10-25-2016, 02:23pm »
I will not be swayed by Yvonne and :jehu: I'm voting YES on both counts!

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