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White Eagle Hall set to reopen Friday in Jersey City
By Kristen Keller | For The Jersey Journal
on April 05, 2017 at 4:22 PM, updated April 06, 2017 at 12:42 PM

There was a time when historic White Eagle Hall was home to all sort of community events, from dance recitals to concerts. But for many of the past 40 years, the building was more famous as the practice home of of the national powerhouse St. Anthony High School team.

That all changes today.

White Eagle Hall is reopening Friday as a performing arts center after the building underwent a comprehensive multi-million dollar restoration. Read more

Jersey City mourns fate of St. Anthony: a 'little safe haven'
By Terrence T. McDonald | The Jersey Journal
on April 05, 2017 at 5:22 PM, updated April 06, 2017 at 12:39 AM

JERSEY CITY -- Richard Freda, St. Anthony High School class of 1970, still pals around with some of his old classmates.

The group goes to St. Anthony basketball games and grabs beers and burgers afterward. They call themselves the "vintage friars."

Their outings will probably start to dwindle in number, Freda said, with today's news that the Catholic high school, which opened its doors in 1952, will shutter at the end of this school year, another victim of declining enrollment in the area's Catholic schools.

Bob Hurley Sr., the school's president and legendary basketball coach, announced the news to the school's teary-eyed staff and faculty this afternoon.

"The community will miss this little safe haven," Freda told The Jersey Journal.

Hurley, 69, said today that the school, in significant debt to the Archdiocese of Newark, was not able to promise church officials two things that could have kept the school open: increasing enrollment by 25 percent and raising enough money to have $500,000 in the bank by the start of the next school year.

Fighting back tears, Hurley said, "It's brutal. Absolutely brutal." Read more

Jersey City Creates ‘No Knock’ Registry as Relief From Realtors
Longtime homeowners say that persistent offers have at times verged on harassment
By Kate King
March 28, 2017 6:58 p.m. ET

Longtime homeowners in Jersey City, N.J., are trying to put the kibosh on endless aggressive real estate solicitations sparked by a hot property market.

In response to complaints, the Jersey City Council unanimously passed a resolution creating an anti-solicitation city program referred to as a “No Knock” registry. Residents that sign up will receive “No Knock” decals for their front doors, and violators who continue to inquire at those homes can be fined up to $2,000 and sentenced to 90 days of community service.

“It’s something that we want to address and do it in a proactive way that builds community as opposed to creating conflict,” said Council President Rolando Lavarro.

The population of Jersey City, the state’s second-largest municipality, grew 6.7% between 2010 and 2015, according to the U.S. Census.

Median housing prices there have increased 17% over the last six years, to $305,000 in 2016 from $260,000 in 2010, according to RealtyTrac.

Amid the rapid residential development, longtime homeowners say that persistent offers from real-estate investors and developers have at times escalated to the point of harassment.

Assunta Folcarelli, a crossing guard who has owned her Jersey City home for 35 years, said realtors started calling her six years ago asking to buy her home. She has repeatedly declined but said solicitors continue to call, show up at her door and send her letters.

“They keep on calling up, they want my house. I say, ‘Wait a minute, where am I going to go?’” said Ms. Folcarelli, 57 years old. “It’s kind of scary.”

Michael Griffin, a lifelong Jersey City resident and local activist, supported the registry’s creation but said the city needs to do more to protect vulnerable homeowners from developers. Mr. Griffin said the city needs to educate residents about cash offers, including in several neighborhoods where many homeowners live at or below the poverty line and the old Victorian and brownstone homes are attractive to developers, he said.


In Jersey City’s case, officials reached out to Orthodox and other clergy leaders from the beginning while developing the “No Knock” registry, said Avi Schnall, director of the New Jersey office of Agudath Israel of America, an Orthodox Jewish advocacy organization.

Orthodox Jewish buyers, many of whom were priced out of Brooklyn, have recently begun purchasing in Jersey City, and an estimated 40 to 50 Hasidic families now live there, Rabbi Schnall said.

The new registry is “fair,” he added, because “we were part of the conversation.” Read more


Liberty Science Center expansion wins key vote from council
By Terrence T. McDonald | The Jersey Journal
on March 23, 2017 at 8:34 AM, updated March 23, 2017 at 8:45 AM

JERSEY CITY -- A plan to build a $276 million science and technology complex near Liberty Science Center cleared another major hurdle at last night's City Council meeting when the council voted to transfer 12 acres of city-owned land intended for the complex.

The 6-3 vote came after 11 p.m. at the end of a four-hour public hearing in front of a crowd that initially numbered about 150 (Councilwoman-at-large Joyce Watterman described the meeting as "another intense night."). The action transfers the city land to the Jersey City Redevelopment Agency, which intends to sell a total of 16 acres of city property to SciTech Scity, a new arm of Liberty Science Center, for $10.

Council members who voted in favor of transferring the land were Watterman, Rolando Lavarro, Daniel Rivera, Frank Gajewski, Candice Osborne and Jermaine Robinson. Councilmen Chris Gadsden, Rich Boggiano and Michael Yun voted no.

City officials have argued that SciTech Scity would be a boon to the neighborhoods to the project's west, areas of the city that have long struggled with crime and poverty. Robinson, who represents Ward F, where SciTech Scity would be located, echoed that argument last night.

"My vision is for the children of Ward F to because astronauts, brain surgeons, engineers," he said.

Yun has argued that Liberty Science Center is not financially capable of undergoing a project of SciTech Scity's magnitude. Last night he said he worries about what will happen once the land is transferred to the JCRA and "it is completely out of our control."

"The JCRA, their own board members, (are) not elected by people but appointed by the mayor. They're going to do what the mayor asks them," Yun said. Read more


JCTC Brings Theatre & Performing Arts Back to Restored White Eagle Hall

(JERSEY CITY, NJ) -- After many decades, theatre has returned to one of New Jersey’s most-prized historical venues. In April, Jersey City Theater Center (JCTC) begins a new chapter in the NJ/NY performing arts world by presenting theatre and dance to the newly restored, White Eagle Hall.

As part of its Disruption series, which opens March 31st at the adjacent Merseles Studios, JCTC presents Nimbus: Proliferate & Gala, (April 7th ) and Now I Know (April 23rd) by James Judd, monologist, humorist and headliner of NPR‘s Snap Judgment.

These two shows mark the first performances of any kind at this historic theater since rock & roll “battle of the band” dances took place there more than 40 years ago.

White Eagle Hall opened in 1910, constructed by polish immigrants as a theater and public assembly facility, hosting recitals, concerts, theater productions, sporting exhibitions and other community events. By the end of the 20th century, the space had become famous as the practice court of Basketball Hall of Fame coach Bob Hurley and his championship team, the St. Anthony Friars.

This comprehensive restoration – which followed sustainable building standards – by the Ben LoPiccolo Development Group (BLDG), brought back to life the original luster of this historical theater while adding the latest in sound and lighting technology as well as audience amenities. Read more

Restaurants & Bars / Low Fidelity Bar
« on: 03-20-2017, 01:12pm »
From Jersey Digs:

‘The Archer’ Group Reaches to New Heights, Takes Over Former Trolley Car Bar

By Chris Fry
March 20, 2017

One of Downtown Jersey City’s most popular cocktail joints will soon be expanding to a spot on the cliffside, as the owners of The Archer will soon be bringing their concoctions to 328 Palisade Avenue.

The restaurant, known for their small plate dining and creative cocktails, will be taking over the old Trolley Car Bar space in The Heights. The group just closed Thursday on a lease at the property and will be opening a different concept from The Archer that will be called Low Fidelity Bar.

Jesse Weeks, Managing Partner at The Archer, told Jersey Digs that the new outpost will feature the same attention to quality and detail that the restaurant places on their products, but applied to classic American regional cuisine. He says the group plans to largely keep the structure and layout of the existing space intact, but the décor will get a major facelift as part of an effort to create an entirely different space. Read more

Related thread: Trolley Car Bar & Grill

Woman filmed as she undressed in JCPenney changing room, cops say
By Caitlin Mota | The Jersey Journal
on March 14, 2017 at 10:05 AM

JERSEY CITY -- A man recorded a 31-year-old woman as she undressed inside a JCPenney fitting room at Newport Centre mall, police said.

On March 6, the victim, a Jersey City resident, said she noticed someone pointing a cellphone underneath the door to her changing stall near the women's dress department, according to a police report.

The victim said she swung the door open, hitting the suspect as he was filming her. The man, who is believed to be in his late 20s or early 30s, took off running while the woman yelled for help, the report states.

She quickly got dressed, but the suspect had already fled the store. The woman met with loss prevention officers who said the man left the store from the first floor doorway and cut through Macy's. JCPenney did not immediately have access to its surveillance footage of the suspect, though Macy's provided footage to police, the report states. Read more

Documentary about Jersey City, warts and all, to premiere on PBS
By Terrence T. McDonald | The Jersey Journal
on March 02, 2017 at 4:33 PM, updated March 02, 2017 at 5:20 PM

When "Five-Finger Discount," Helene Stapinski's memoir about growing up among criminals in Jersey City, was published in 2001, it was not greeted warmly by everyone in Stapinski's hometown.

One man unhappy with the occasional slaps Stapinski takes at Jersey City in the book lashed out at her sister, a teacher, at a school board meeting. Stapinski says with a laugh that negative reaction to "Five-Finger Discount" is a reason she lives in Brooklyn instead of Jersey City.

"There is a contingent of people who don't like me because of the book," she said.

Some of those hurt feelings may bubble up again next week, when a new documentary inspired by Stapinski's book premieres on local PBS stations.

A former reporter for The Jersey Journal, Stapinski, 51, said the one-hour film takes her memoir "another step." Stapinski and others are featured reminiscing about old Jersey City, but the film also tells the story of Jersey City in 2017.

"It's not just the book in movie form," she said. Read more

Jersey City regains title as most diverse city in U.S.: study
By Ron Zeitlinger | The Jersey Journal
on February 22, 2017 at 1:05 PM, updated February 22, 2017 at 3:16 PM

Jersey City is No. 1 again.

The city has been named the most diverse in the nation in a study released this morning. Jersey City was No. 1 in 2015 and slipped to No. 2 in 2016, although it was still considered the most diverse mid-size city last year.

"Our diversity is one of our greatest strengths as a city and something for which we are exceptionally proud," Jersey City Mayor Steve Fulop said. "Jersey City has always been a welcoming home for new groups seeking a better life, bringing a diversity of cultures, religions, and languages here, which is truly the embodiment of the promise of America."

The study ranked 500 cities by using three key metrics -- ethno-racial diversity, linguistic diversity and birthplace diversity. The three categories are weighted -- with ethnoracial diversity making up 50 percent of the score. Read more


Mack-Cali Plans ‘Harborside Terminal’, Jersey City’s Hip Waterfront Destination
By Gillian Blair
February 22, 2017

You may have noticed that Markers Restaurant near Exchange Place closed, and if you’ve walked through the Harborside Financial Center recently, you’ve seen that the small shops, restaurants, and even the CVS have shuttered. The closings are part of a planned $75 million transformation of the complex into Harborside Terminal–“depart from the ordinary, arrive at the extraordinary.”

Mack-Cali Realty Corporation, who owns Harborside, is making major capital investments along the waterfront in the retail, commercial, residential, and public spaces to create a “pedestrian-friendly urban landscape at the water’s edge” and a real “live work play” kind of neighborhood.

“Be Here Now” is Mack-Cali’s call to action, capitalizing on the energetic evolution of Jersey City. Renderings depict a day and night destination that looks like it will be Jersey City’s very own version of NYC’s Brookfield Place. Walls of glass and an ambitious atrium will host music and dance performances, art installations, events, and more. The complex will also complete the neighborhood with a high-end grocery store and coffee shop. Experiential retail and a Marketplace reminiscent of food halls in Europe, offering ethnic culinary specialties, are also planned. Read more

News / Re: Stupid Headlines - Post Them Here
« on: 02-16-2017, 04:30pm »
Recovering from evisceration takes a lot of guts.

I guess Death is a stable condition. :|
It's a miracle! :o

Man found eviscerated on Jersey City street now in stable condition
By Michaelangelo Conte | The Jersey Journal
on February 16, 2017 at 11:35 AM, updated February 16, 2017 at 1:39 PM

News / Re: Stupid Headlines - Post Them Here
« on: 02-16-2017, 02:01pm »
It's a miracle! :o

Man found eviscerated on Jersey City street now in stable condition
By Michaelangelo Conte | The Jersey Journal
on February 16, 2017 at 11:35 AM, updated February 16, 2017 at 1:39 PM

Jersey City council to signal support for 'sanctuary city' order
By Terrence T. McDonald | The Jersey Journal
on February 07, 2017 at 4:28 PM, updated February 07, 2017 at 5:20 PM

JERSEY CITY -- The City Council tomorrow will vote on a measure expressing support for the executive order Mayor Steve Fulop signed Friday that officially named Jersey City a sanctuary city for immigrants who entered the United States illegally.

The measure is also expected to express support for a municipal ID program and opposition to any kind of registry for individuals based on their religion or place of birth.

The resolution is another sign that Jersey City's Democratic leaders plan to thumb their noses at President Trump. Fulop, Council President Rolando Lavarro and other members of the council appeared at a recent rally to protest Trump's recent actions targeting illegal immigration and refugees. Lavarro has previously called Trump a "racist bully" and a bigot. Read more

Jersey City Mayor Fulop signs 'santuary city' order
By Terrence T. McDonald | The Jersey Journal
on February 04, 2017 at 10:17 AM

Blasting the tone of anti-illegal immigration sentiment coming from the nation's capital, Jersey City Mayor Steve Fulop yesterday signed an aggressive executive order intended to make Jersey City a true "sanctuary city" for immigrants who have entered the country illegally.

The 10-page order, Fulop's 39th since he became mayor in 2013, is expansive, barring city cops from honoring immigration detainer requests from U.S. Immigrations and Customs Enforcement; prohibiting federal immigration and border protection agents from accessing city facilities or property without a warrant; bestowing benefits like the city's paid sick leave mandate on all residents regardless of immigration status; and more.

Fulop, a Democrat hoping to be re-elected to a second term in November in this heavily Democratic city with a large foreign-born population, did not mention President Trump by name but repeatedly criticized "today's climate" and made veiled references to Trump's recent executive orders targeting illegal immigration and refugees.

"We won't be bullied and we won't be mistreated," Fulop said during the brief City Hall ceremony, where he was surrounded by local elected officials and representatives from immigrant and labor groups. "We're going to stand by the values that are important to us." Read more

Restaurants & Bars / Re: FM- 340 3rd street
« on: 02-02-2017, 12:01pm »
From Jersey City Upfront:

FEBRUARY 1, 2017

It’s official — the latest restaurant to join the Jersey City dining scene will be FM, a 1970s inspired theme restaurant that’s taking over the former Union Republic space at 340 Third Street.

The restaurant describes itself as serving classic comfort food with a twist, also with dishes from the 1970s. According to the restaurant’s website, dishes will “emphasize the balance between creative presentation without compromising simplicity, freshness, and flavor.” Read more

Sports, Recreation & Hobbies / Re: WiredJC Birdspotting
« on: 01-05-2017, 01:29pm »
What, no squirrel? :|

That sucks. Are you queasy with the little fellas? I can put on my manpants, bring some steel wool and look for holes if you like (in my experience the kitchen sink pipe is usually the culprit).


North Jersey deli wins N.J.'s best sub/hoagie shop showdown
By Peter Genovese | NJ Advance Media for
on December 07, 2016 at 12:40 PM, updated December 07, 2016 at 12:47 PM

Size really didn't matter.

Andrea Salumeria in Jersey City is the winner of our N.J.'s best sub/hoagie shop showdown, besting nine other finalists in our epic month-and-a-half-long  search.

The narrowed-aisled store, which could fit into most conference rooms, was my pick for the state's best sub/hoagie shop. It was the smallest but one of the liveliest shops visited, with specialty food-stocked shelves on your right, display case and cookies on your left on the way to the front counter.

Where owner Pete Soriano greets customers by first-name, and where you find sub ingredients - sun-dried peppers, anyone? - you won't find pretty much anywhere else.

"I'm living the dream,'' Soriano said during my first visit.

It's a story of a local kid who made good, without leaving the neighborhood.  Soriano grew up five blocks away. No wonder the old-timers beam when they walk into the store.

"I've got people coming here 30, 35 years,'' he says. "I got people who came here with their children, now their children are coming in.''

Andrea Scivettti, Soriano's uncle, opened Andrea Salumeria in 1975. Soriano started working here when he was 15, sweeping the floor.

After buying the store, he added many specialty products - oregano from Sicily, imported cookies, cheeses, pastas, mushrooms, anchovies "and all this other weird stuff,'' Soriano says with a smile. Read more

Charles Mainor, ex-assemblyman, to run for Jersey City mayor
By Terrence T. McDonald | The Jersey Journal
on November 18, 2016 at 12:20 PM, updated November 18, 2016 at 2:17 PM

JERSEY CITY — Voters don't head to the polls in the next Jersey City mayor's race for 354 days, but the contest now has three declared candidates. Charles Mainor, a retired police detective and former state assemblyman, told The Jersey Journal this week that he intends to challenge Mayor Steve Fulop's re-election bid next November.

Mainor, 49, who was elbowed out of a fourth term in the Assembly last year, said in an interview at Larsen's Restaurant on Bergen Avenue that he's running for mayor to make sure every resident enjoys the fruits of Jersey City's renaissance.

"Everybody should be a part of Jersey City moving forward and I don't see that right now," he said.

Voters don't head to the polls for another year, but there are already two declared candidates.

Mainor, who lives on Wade Street in the city's Greenville section, said his campaign will focus on decreasing crime, bringing jobs to city residents and improving education by strengthening ties between City Hall and the public-school district. Mainor said he intends to be mayor "of the whole city, not just the Waterfront."

"There are parts of the city that do receive more attention than others," Mainor said.

Fulop has been dinged by critics who allege he focuses on the city's wealthier neighborhoods. The mayor has denied this charge, pointing to city investments in troubled neighborhoods such as the City Hall Annex. Read more

Bill Matsikoudis announces bid for Jersey City mayor
By Terrence T. McDonald | The Jersey Journal
on November 15, 2016 at 8:14 AM, updated November 15, 2016 at 9:17 AM

Bill Matsikoudis, who was corporation counsel for nearly a decade under former Mayor Jerramiah Healy, announced his intention to run for Jersey City mayor next year in a video posted on his campaign website this morning.

Citing his "profound love" for Jersey City, Matsikoudis is vowing to focus on implementing community policing, cutting "out of control" city spending, increasing affordable housing and more. The 45-year-old Downtown attorney is the only person to declare his intention to challenge Mayor Steve Fulop in November 2017.

"I hope to be elected your mayor so that I can fully dedicate all that I have to offer to make Jersey City safer, more affordable, more beautiful and the truly world-class city that we know it can be," Matsikoudis says in the four-minute video.

Matsikoudis' announcement comes a year before voters will head to the polls to select a mayor and nine City Council members.

Some of the criticisms Matsikoudis hurls at City Hall in the video center around the very issues that propelled Fulop into office in May 2013, when Fulop unseated Healy. Matsikoudis says the city suffers from violent crime, neglected neighborhoods and a city government "bloated with patronage," all jabs Fulop once made about the Healy administration. Read more

See also: Fulop to call off run for governor, endorse Murphy

Atlas Public House {Soft Opening} Next Monday
Posted in Drinks on November 07, 2016

The wait is over, and we're so excited! Atlas Public House will be celebrating its Soft Opening next Monday, November 14th. This Friday and Saturday Atlas will host their Friends & Family events (not open to the public), and they will be closed on Sunday. Monday's Soft Opening will feature dinner service only, with the full menu available starting Wednesday (11/16). The Grand Opening Party will take place on Thursday, November 17th. Atlas is located at 130 Newark Ave (the pedestrian plaza) in the space formerly occupied by Hudson Camera.

Waited exactly one hour to be voter number 217 at McNair HS (ward E District 10). I've never seen lines this long.

Government & Politics / Re: Vote No for 2 city questions
« on: 11-07-2016, 08:42am »
The Brian Lehrer show had a good segment on question #2: NJ's Ballot Question 2 Hands Voters the Wheel on Gas Money

Bridgegate verdict: Bill Baroni and Bridget Kelly guilty on all counts
By Ted Sherman and Matt Arco | NJ Advance Media for
on November 04, 2016 at 11:30 AM, updated November 04, 2016 at 11:38 AM

NEWARK — Two former Christie administration insiders charged in a bizarre scheme of political retaliation against a mayor who refused to endorse the governor for re-election were found guilty Friday on all counts in the long-running Bridgegate saga.

In a seven-week trial that saw their own words used against them, Bill Baroni and Bridget Anne Kelly were convicted of helping orchestrate massive traffic tie-ups at the George Washington Bridge in September 2013. The plot was hatched to send a pointed message to Fort Lee Mayor Mark Sokolich, after he stepped back from his earlier public support of Gov. Chris Christie.

The jury passed a note to judge Friday morning, indicating it had reached a verdict. The decision came one day after U.S. District Judge Susan D. Wigenton denied a defense motion to re-instruct the jury.

Attorneys started to filter back into the federal courthouse around 11 a.m. The jury began reading its findings just before 11:30 a.m. and delivered their guilty decision in rapid fire. Baroni and Kelly were charged on nine counts, and faced five of them together. The other four charges were split evenly, two each for the defendants.

The criminal case, built around a rarely used provision of a fraud statute that makes it a crime to "misapply" property of federal aid recipients, charged that Baroni and Kelly intentionally misapplied the property or money of the Port Authority.

The jury of seven women and five men heard from 35 witnesses, including both defendants who took the stand on their behalf. But the most damaging evidence might have been the now-infamous "time for some traffic problems in Fort Lee" email sent by Kelly less than a month before several local access toll lanes at the world's busiest bridge were inexplicably closed for nearly a week in September 2013, leading to paralyzing gridlock on local streets. Read more

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