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Messages - stephen

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Devil's advocate here.  I'm not buying it.  I'm not buying that installing a motor bridge to carry cars between LSP and downtown will increase the incidents of short-cutting to the Holland Tunnel.  And I should point out that I'm a tireless critic of the current traffic condition in downtown. The average short-cutter is a rash character, impulsive.  He'll get off at Columbus but won't be nearly as smart to get of way back at Bayview.  And then he'd have to navigate Burma/Phillip which is a time killer.  Columbus is the problem.  The police should be stopping cars there to see if they are interlopers.

Opening within two weeks if the Department of Buildings doesn't send them on a two month boondoggle on their final inspection.

From  (

Saturday, March 16, 2013
At our meeting last Monday we discussed the approval of the amendment to the Morgan/Grove/Marin Redevelopment Plan by the Planning Board.  Many questions and concerns were raised about how the increased building height and density will affect the surrounding community, parking, traffic congestion and PATH congestion. The membership unanimously passed a resolution to ask the City to work with us to allow for community input before adopting any amendments.

We hand-delivered a letter to each councilperson asking them to withdraw the ordinance from the agenda, citing the fact that the surrounding community had not been given an adequate opportunity to review, consider and provide feedback to the City as to the impact of the amendments.

There is precedent for our involvement. The Harsimus Cove Association worked closely with the City and the developers of Grove Pointe to require them to rehabilitate Fitzgerald-Holota Memorial Park (aka Grove Plaza) and maintain the plaza in perpetuity. We were also instrumental in altering the design of the building, resulting in the replacement of the original and imposing “glass and steel” design with a stepped structure and brick façade which is more in keeping with the surrounding structures.

We were successful!  The ordinance was withdrawn!  But now the work begins to work with the City's planning department to communicate our questions, concerns and objections.  We are currently forming a committee to work on this issue.  If you want to get involved in some capacity, please contact us here:

News / Re: Jersey City Parking Authority
« on: 03-15-2013, 02:41pm »
Here's the letter I just fired off to Mary Spinello, CEO of JCPA:

Mary -

I just had an "interesting" conversation with JCPA officer, badge number 249.  He was coming out of a deli at the corner of 1st & Erie after I had snapped a photo (attached)
of his illegally parked interceptor.

   "Trying to get me in trouble?" he asked.

I point out that he's parked illegally and that he should be giving tickets to other illegally parked cars at that intersection.  (This intersection in particularly is notorious for accidents and near-accidents.)  I point out that it's dangerous when pedestrians and drivers can't see around a corner due to a car parked in the sightline.

He goes on to gives me a litany of excuses including "I'm trying to give people a break" and "there isn't any other parking around here" and "they would be mad at me."  I tell him that's not his job to be a nice guy-- his job is too give tickets for those parked illegally.  I was infuriated to hear that not only is he not doing his job but that he does not think he needs to do his job.  And I told him so.  He shrugged me off.

And this isn't the first time I have had a discussion with a JCPA officer who thought my request that they ticket illegal corner parkers was an odd one.  I'm beginning to worry that this attitude is institutional.  Please, for the safety of our pedestrians and drivers alike, and to upload the legitimacy of the JCPA, have a word with your officers.

News / Jersey City Parking Authority
« on: 03-15-2013, 02:34pm »
This about sums it up:

The existing Morgan/Grove/Marin Redevelopment Plan:

The proposed amendments to the plan:

The amendments were approved by the Planning Board last Tuesday and go before the city council for a first reading on Wednesday.  If you want to comment on the amendment, please call the City Clerk's office and ask to be put on the public speaker's list.

How do they propose acquiring the current properties?

The Silverman representative wasn't able to tell us which lots on the map there were looking to acquire-- and it may be that they don't know yet.

If I'm reading the location right isn't this on the front of where the Toll Brothers development replacing the old Manischewitz factory

Block 206 is directly across of where Toll Brothers will be, a 45-story complex.  (For reference, Grove Pointe is 29 stories.)  Block 207 is across from Powerhouse Lounge.  There is another high-rise (50 stories) development breaking now at the corner of Columbus and Marin, next to the PATH station entrance.

What are the prices on the mini opera cakes?  Mini tartes?

A croissant for $3.50?  It's only $1.50 in Paris.

According to their FB wall, they open .... TODAY!

(Can't wait to get me a personal size tarte!)

Downtown / Re: Hamilton Square South designs
« on: 03-08-2013, 09:00am »
Good points.  I'd really have to see a model or walk the grounds.  One thing that bothers me is that the "lower half" which is "too strong" that Bobblehead mentions is party due to it's color.  It's too dark, and that may simply be an injustice being done via the JPG.  I would like to know if it's the same color brick as the school-- or at get it far enough away from that burnt sienna so it properly contrasts.

I'd be into this sort of structure in Harsimus Cove, but all we get is towers if not town houses.  Then again, we *will* be seeing SILVERMAN's renderings on Monday night for the new building on Marin between Morgan and Bay.

Downtown / Re: Hamilton Square South designs
« on: 03-08-2013, 07:46am »
It will be in the empty lot between Hamilton Square and the school (Art House Productions).  I was hoping that the site plan would involve "starting over" with the school or at least giving the facade a face-lift to incorporate it into the new building, at least visually.  Having three distinctly different-looking buildings on that block is going to be challenging in the wrong way.  Otherwise, I think the design, on it's own, is very interesting.

"But it's a historic neighborhood!"  Yeah, and what I hate just about as much as strip mall architecture is neo-evertthing.  I mean, it's silly that the Supreme Court of the USA looks like it was built during the height of the Greek Empire.  What's that about?  I'm all for modern structures, so long as they are visual congruous-- and something doesn't have to be the same to be complementary.  Architecture is a moment to the times were in.. and by logic.. strip malls make a lot of sense.  :-)

Double digit raises are unheard of these days.  Hell, anything over 5% is considered outstanding.  And just because someone "deserves" a raise isn't reason enough to give one.  The company has to be profitable.  Jersey City isn't.  Well, there's your pocket book, I suppose.

Government & Politics / Re: Trash Pickup/Trash Cans?
« on: 02-04-2013, 02:12pm »
If you put your trash out in a bag, please by sure the ply is suitable to stand up to a bit of abuse from the elements (wind) and animals (raccoons) and can be tied off effectively.  Most kitchen trash bags have a very flimsy ply and I see a lot of trash bags hastily put out and am not surprised the next morning when I saw artifacts strewn all over the street after collection.

Government & Politics / Re:
« on: 09-15-2011, 09:15am »
Call Mayor Healy to ask him to issue an executive order that mandates that all non-emergency, city-owned cars have decals placed on their doors per the ordinance that the city council recently passed but does not have the authority to mandate. 201-547-5200. You will be transferred to "scheduling" to leave a message for the chief of staff.

General / Car Service recommendations
« on: 07-16-2011, 08:56pm »
Looking for a new airport car service (limo, taxi).  We just fired our last one. 

1.  We're not interested in the cheapest.  We'll pay more than $25 for a driver who is safe and knows where he is going, but we don't want to pay $40.

2.  No back roads to EWR.

3.  No making us go upstairs to the departure area.

Any recommendations?

Statement by Mike Francisco President, Harsimus Cove Association, Regarding the Proposed Sale of 8 Erie Street, Jersey City, NJ

May 6, 2011 – “Recent coverage of the proposed sale of 8 Erie Street, better known as Jersey City Police Headquarters, has focused on the construction of a parking structure, yet no such land use has officially been proposed. Rather, the issue of immediate concern is the apparent haste that the City is showing in selling the property. It strikes us as odd that the City would be satisfied with selling 8 Erie and an adjacent parking lot—prime real estate in historic Downtown Jersey City— for a pauper’s sum of $4 million. Anybody who has recently looked at the price of a single-family row house knows that the stated sale price of 8 Erie and the adjoining parking lot is alarmingly low.

“Most troubling about this situation is that the proposed sale of this landmark building in the heart of the Harsimus Cove Historic District has not been opened up to the public. The residents and business owners in Harsimus Cove and Downtown Jersey City should have a say in what ultimately comes of this property. For example, the Jersey City Board of Education’s Department of Early Childhood Education has for years looked for available space Downtown. And perhaps local businesses could make a strong argument for the construction of a parking garage on the existing lot. We will not have the opportunity to find out until the City engages in a fair, transparent and public vetting of all redevelopment proposals.

“The Harsimus Cove Association wants to guarantee the highest and best use of 8 Erie Street for all of our residents. As bad as the City is in need of money, the purchase price of $4 million is hardly adequate or ‘fair market value.’ We must begin to think long-term and not throw away the opportunity to do what is right for our neighborhood—not just for today, but for the future. The process must be open and transparent, with input from this association and the residents of Jersey City.

“We urge Mayor Healy and the City to make this the transparent and open process Jersey City deserves. Please don’t sell our neighborhood and our future short.”

The Harsimus Cove Association has launched a comprehensive recycling guide for downtown residents and beyond -- from cans to TVs to plastic bags:

Does it strike anybody as appropriate that the #1 recommended video for this advertisement video is "New Jersey Doucebags?"  Classic.

Spectra has been airing a commercial all over TV in the last couple of days.  It's now you YouTube:

New Jersey - New York Pipeline will Create Jobs

They didn't turn commenting off, so why don't you let them know how you feel and give them a "thumbs down" while you're at it.

My trash was supposed to be picked up on Friday night.  It's still on the curb as of noon on Sunday.

It's not a personal point I make, so no offense taken.  It's a more intellectually honest argument to leave religion out of the question of whether or not a god exists. 

Let's just assume that religion has it mostly wrong.  As you point out, religion creates a god in their own image which says nothing about whether that god is the/a real god.  That assertion doesn't lesson the likelihood of the existence of a god.  The question of whether a god exists or not should be argued on it's own de/merits.  Granted, it's hard to argue *for* the existence of a god without religion. 

It stands that atheists believe that the existence of a god is highly unlikely with or without the regardless of any given religion.  My point being that I am uncomfortable arguing against the likelihood of a god based on upon religious doctrine.

Just want to point out that we should detach the question of religious authority with the question of the existence of god.

Mayor Healy appeared on NBC News at 11 with Brian Thompson discussing the threat of the proposed Spectra pipeline to the residents of Jersey City.  The TV broadcast discusses the mayor's intention to declare Intervenor standing at FERC as well as the other major stakeholders who have issue with the routing of the pipeline.

It's a solid piece and were grateful to Brian Thompson and NBC for the coverage as well as the Mayor's office for pushing this story.

Watch the video here:

We need to find those that still don't know about the proposed pipeline.  It's imperative that we continue to build awareness and keep us focused on the current action – calling Mayor Healy's office (201-547-5200) and demand that he seek Intervenor standing with FERC.

We need to put the "boots on the ground" and get the word out in the good ol' fashioned way ... posters and flyers and face-to-face conversations!

We've prepared a poster and two different flyers to make getting the message out all the easier.  Print and go!

TODAY is the last day to submit your e-comments about the pipeline! They must be received by 5:00 PM Eastern.

Trade your coffee break for some good ol' civic activism - it will take 10 minutes max and we've put together a step-by-step guide:

IF YOU ALREADY HAVE SUBMITTED your letter, you can submit another letter if you have new concerns.  The NEW  sample letter on our new website has some new ideas.

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