Saturday, May 16, 2009
Thursday, May 14, 2009
Newport Pharmacy Moving Across the Street, Still Not in Newport
Newport Pharmacy, an independent pharmacy on the corner of 9th and Erie, is moving to 9th and Erie. The pharmacy is crossing the street into a corner space in the Hamilton Square development. Exeter Properties has said they prefer independent local businesses to fill their retail spaces.
Wednesday, May 13, 2009
Park Renovation Slaying Trees
Renovations have begun at Hamilton Park, just in time to close it for summer. Construction crews have slashed a half dozen large trees with 18 inch diameters, casualties of low bid contracts.
The renovated park will include an expanded playground, two dog runs, and renovated ball courts. In addition, the historic pathways will be reinstalled and Victorian style lighting. About half the park will remain grassy fields.
The dog runs caused a controversy among residents. For several years, dog owners have been illegally allowing their dogs off leash on the grassy areas of the park. Not only did many park goers feel the illegal activity was unsafe, but the dogs also destroyed the grass. As plans for the renovation were drawn up, two dog runs were included in the design, one for large dogs and one for small dogs. Four final plans were drawn up and community residents voted on the plans; the selected plan included a smaller allotted space for the dog runs. Moreover, the selected plan divided the dog run space in half, with two roughly equal sized runs for small and large dogs. Large dog owners pointed out that larger dogs needed more space than smaller dogs.
Part of the controversy stemmed from the way the the park's plans were voted on. The final vote was suppose to only be about the layout of the park renovation, not the amenities. However, one of the designs included a small putting green, while another design did not; both these designs were otherwise identical, and both were the only design where the two dog runs abutted against each other. Proponents of the dog run claim the two virtually identical designs split votes allowing the chosen design to win.
Meanwhile, the park was originally to remain at least partially open during renovation. However, the contractor insisted on closing the entirety of the park during renovations, meaning the park will be closed for much of the summer. However, local developer Exeter Property has volunteered a lot adjacent to the park to serve as a temporary playground. The playground should be open by June.
Hamilton Park was closed in early May for renovations; residents look forward to the park reopening on a cold January day
The informal dog run / unused tennis court has been stripped of fencing
The old playground has been crushed
Exeter Property, developer Hamilton Square, a project adjacent to the park, has promised a temporary playground on land that will one day be a small residential building.
NJ Transit Bridge Nearing Completion
The footbridge connecting Jersey City's waterfront with Hoboken is nearly complete. The bridge will create an important link in the waterfront walkway and connect the Newport development in Jersey City directly to the Hoboken Terminal.
The project was long talked about and much delayed by the transit agency. A small, unused canal separates Jersey City from the Hoboken rail yards adding to the expense of completing the walkway. The bridge is mostly built with railings, pavers and lighting yet to be installed. The project, scheduled to be finished in June, will provide a more direct route for pedestrians between the two cities.
For now, the pathway will route through the Hoboken Terminal. Eventually the walkway will extend around the exterior of the station though these tentative plans are not finalized.
The Lefrak organization completed a final segment of the waterfront walkway between the Aqua tower and the new bridge last year. When the bridge opens, the waterfront park will extend from Frank Sinatra Park in Hoboken south to the Colgate Clock in Paulus Hook, minus a short segment in Newport where the Lefraks built an office building up to the waterline. One day, the hope is to connect waterfront parks from the George Washington Bridge to Liberty State Park.
Election Day Madness
Smith and Healy supporters congregating outside the polling place at Grace Van Vorst Church.
Fulop and Healy supporters doing their part to prevent traffic accidents on Erie Street.
The Grove Street PATH station serves as the center of Ward E election day festivities.
Healy Wins Mayor's Race Spending $185 per Vote
Also fairing well was Steve Fulop, the Ward E councilman who won his race with 60 percent of the vote.
In Hoboken, Dawn Zimmer and Peter Cammarano will face a runoff election, each getting about 35 percent of the vote.
Tuesday, May 12, 2009
Vote Today, 6AM to 8PM
Over in Hoboken, the Jersey Journal endorsed Peter Cammarano. Hoboken411 has a summary of who else is running.
Meanwhile, Tris McCall counted up the campaign signs around the city.
Monday, May 11, 2009
Vote Tomorrow, Vote Levin, Vote Fulop
Civic activist Dan Levin might be the underdog in a race against a sitting mayor and a former assemblyman and a former councilman/acting mayor, but Jersey City's electorate has always been unpredictable.
Mayor Healy is relying on his $3 million war chest to carry him to victory, and its no wonder that as head of the Hudson county machine he was able to raise so much cash, and its no wonder looking around the city why he needs to spend the money. As the incumbent, this election is a referendum on Healy, and its his legacy that will either bolster support or require him to defend.
Healy has flooded cable television and mailboxes across the city with propaganda telling voters the great things he's done. He's taking a cue from the Karl Rove playbook: repeat a lie enough times and maybe people will begin to believe it. Sure, Jersey City's skyline is rising, but it was growing before Healy showed up, and will continue to grow after he is gone. The real challenge is whether city life will continue to improve. Municipal services take their direction from the top; Healy's government is unresponsive, self-serving, and indolent, so its no wonder he's had to spend so much to tell people otherwise.
Some pundits have chosen Lou Manzo as the Healy alternative. Manzo has served Jersey City admirably in Trenton in the past, but he didn't get into the assembly without playing along with the Hudson county machine, even if he has turned his back on them in recent years. He's also the perpetual candidate for mayor, having been rejected by voters four or five times already, not to mention during one of those races he was up against his brother.
Dan Levin is a civic activist, not a machine insider. While we may not agree with him all the time, he's not dismissive and we'd trust in him to have a responsive city government open to the new ideas needed in facing the challenges of a growing city. His quiet demeanor is not that of the typical politician, and let's face it, Jersey City has too many typical politicians. Unlike his opponents, he's not looking simply to get his hand in the city coffers. Dan Levin promises the city government we all want and deserve.
The Ward E councilman is the one elected official Jersey City residents don't have to be ashamed of. He and his office are responsive to his constituents. He's an independent voice on the council, not a machine hack. He active seeks input from community groups and has pushed for government reform. Healy doesn't need another crony assisting in the distribution of patronage checks; Steve Fulop is the right choice for Jersey City and more importantly, the right choice for Ward E voters.
255 Wsahington Street
Thursday, May 07, 2009
April Showers Bring Grand Street Tower
The Grand Street Tower should have reached its full height. The center of the structure is still empty, but will likely be filled in as construction continues.
The South side of the tower, with a street shared with Gulls Cove
From Liberty Harbor North with Gulls Cove on the Right
Labels: Grand Street Tower
213 Newark Avenue
213 Newark Avenue continues along with bricks along the facade. The side of the building, a stucco-like finish appears to be complete.
Labels: 213 Newark Avenue
Monaco Mud Puddle
The construction at Monaco Towers continues at a snail's pace; the giant mud puddle has become an even big mud puddle.
Labels: Monaco Towers