November 2017 VVPA Monthly Newsletter

20 Nov 2017, Posted by Yolanda Foley in Updates

The next VVPA monthly meeting will be held on Tuesday, November 21st at 7:00pm in The Barrow Mansion (83 Wayne St.).  As a reminder, the VVPA monthly meetings are held on the 3rd Tuesday of the month, so be sure to mark your calendars in advance!

President’s Letter –  October 30, 2017

Hello Neighbors.  I hope this letter finds you in good health and spirits and enjoying your Fall activities.     After three years of service, I will be stepping down from my role as President at this month’s meeting. I have enjoyed the opportunity to lead this organization and to work with the dedicated and passionate volunteers whose efforts make our community one of the best in the city. Although no longer serving as President, I will remain involved with VVPA and active in the community in general.   I would also like to take this opportunity to acknowledge the tremendous efforts of our departing Secretary, Yolanda Foley, who is also stepping down after three years of service.  Her work of publishing our newsletter, taking our meeting notes and contributing to our Board were invaluable to our success as an organization! Ben Bernouy, a current VVPA Board member & Committeeman is stepping up to become our next President.  Joanna Arcieri and Katie Brennan will also join our Board as Secretary and 2nd Vice President respectively. Elections to formalize these changes will officially occur at our November meeting, but our candidates are running unopposed, so please welcome them to the team!   We are in a strong position as a non-profit neighborhood association that remains free to all members of our community to join.  We offer numerous activities for all ages, supported in part through your regular donations to our web site and through Amazon/Smile matching donations. As we approach the end of the tax year we encourage you to make a charitable donation to help us continue our efforts as an entirely volunteer organization.    Bring a neighbor to our regular meetings where we discuss topics of importance concerning our community and join one of our committees focused on construction/planning, social or art events, because  whether you are new to the neighborhood or a long-time resident, this is YOUR COMMUNITY.  See you soon!

Best Wishes,

Oona Jackson Moore


Monthly Meeting Details & Agenda Stop by and have a glass a wine on us, while you meet neighbors and learn about what’s going on here in your historic neighborhood!  Wine tasting to be provided by our friends at Jersey Wines & Spirits! As usual, our agenda is packed with of great topics and guest speakers.  This month’s meeting features a meet & greet with two local businesses: Pico Tec Institute and Sugartown Bakery.  A local resident will provide information on an parking app he is developing which alerts you when to move your car for street sweeping.  And, we will have two developer presentations.  The first presentation, 38 Mercer Street is a renovation of the existing 2-story building with a proposed 2-story addition. The proposed design would be a 4-story building with (4) residential units, (1) commercial and (1) live work space. The project is located within the historic Van Vorst Park District and also within the Grove and Mercer Redevelopment Plan. Amendments to the RDP will be necessary.  The second presentation, 88 Regent Street, is a new construction of a 32 story building. It will consist of 392 residential rental units and a 300 car multi level garage with about 9000 sf of ground floor retail. The project is located within the Liberty Harbor North Redevelopment Plan.


7:00pm – 7:10pm – Welcome and Call to Order – President Oona Moore

7:10pm – 7:20pm – Officer & Committee Reports

Treasurer Report – Dermot Ronan
Construction Committee Report – Tom Ogorzalek
Events Committee Report – Eric Carter/Marlene Sandkamp

7:20pm – 7:30pm – VVPA Elections – Elections Officer – Dan Webber

7:30pm – 8:50pm – Guest Speakers & Presentations

Pico Tec Institute – Meet & Greet – 10 minutes

Sugartown Bakery – Meet & Greet – 10 minutes

Richard Trent – Parking App – 10 minutes

Developer Presentation – 38 Mercer Street; Presentation by the Owner and Architect. – 25 minutes

Developer Presentation – 88 Regent Street; Presentation by Jeff Zak – 25 minutes

8:50pm – 9:00pm – Announcements & Community networking

Community Events Below is just a partial list of the many, many wonderful events happening in the Van Vorst neighborhood and throughout our city.  If you have a community event that you’d like featured in our newsletter, please reach out to us at  And, as always, if you’d like to get more involved by becoming part of the events committee, the VVPA always welcomes volunteers.  Contact to join in the fun!

VVPA Sponsored Events

VVPA/DCNA Annual End of Year Holiday Celebration – December 9th, 7pm Mark your calendar for this fabulous end of year tradition!  The Downtown Coalition of Neighborhood Associations (DCNA), of which the VVPA is a part of, will once again be partnering with the Barrow Mansion for an annual end of year holiday celebration.  There will be festive cheer, music, food & drinks, and as usual, a wonderful gathering of friends and neighbors in a gorgeous setting.  FREE, all are welcome! Calling all volunteers!  In order to make this event a smashing success, we need your help.  Please let us know if you are available to volunteer for any of these opportunities (number of volunteers needed in parentheses):

Barrow Mansion Decorating – 12/8/17, 7pm – (5)

Holiday Party – 12/9/17 – Set Up (3); Clean Up (6); Greeter (1); Bartenders (10 – 2pp/1 hour shifts each); bar-backs (2); Food prep & buffet monitors (4)

In the spirit of the holiday season, be generous with your time and support your community!

************************************************************************************** Other Community Events

Drawing Rooms Fundraiser & Art Show – 12/7/17 & 12/16/17 – 2/17/18 Love art?  Like to support local artists?  Here’s a way to do that: join Drawing Rooms at their holiday fundraiser (“Take Home a Work of Art”) and their upcoming art show (“Big Small Show 2017”).  For more information on these cool events, click here.

Project: MARKET – 12/2/17 – 12/3/17  The Jersey City Project’s fifth annual Project: MARKET (December 2-3, 2017) will take place on City Hall Plaza, in historic downtown Jersey City. The market features a lineup of 60 local merchants offering food, home goods, clothes, jewelry, and more. Food trucks will be on site as well as heated seating areas and live music in the evenings. Kick off the holiday shopping season with the Jersey City community! December 2-3, 11AM-6PM each day.

Give Back to your Community!

Periodically the VVPA receives inquiries from civic-minded folks like you looking for ways to get more involved in their community.  Below are a few ways to accomplish this:

VVPA Sponsors – In order to bring you free and low-cost events throughout the year, the VVPA depends on fundraising and sponsorships from local businesses and community members.  For more information on the benefits of becoming a sponsor, as well as the various sponsorship levels that are available, please reach out to us at

Charitable Donations – For those looking to make financial contributions, you can go directly to the VVPA website and click on the Donate button!  Don’t forget: VVPA is a 501(c)(3) non-profit group, so be sure to ask your Company to match your charitable contribution!  And, we are registered as a non-profit at Amazon Smile, so every time you shop through Amazon Smile, select the VVPA as your charitable organization of choice, and Amazon will donate a portion of the purchase price to the VVPA.

VVPA Board & Committee Positions – The VVPA is always looking for people to lend a hand by becoming active on the VVPA board or on one of its many committees: Construction & Development Committee; Events Committee; Membership Committee; Special Projects Committee.  There are no formal requirements other than a genuine desire to help to move the community forward in a positive direction.

Donate Your Professional Services – Throughout the year, there are numerous opportunities to help the VVPA streamline costs and make our efforts more efficient through donating your professional services.   And, if you have a professional skill you can share with your neighbors at an upcoming event, that would be valuable as well.  All types of talents and expertise are welcome!

Spread the Word – Make a commitment to bring a new friend, relative or neighbor to an upcoming association meeting or event.  The VVPA welcomes all!

News You Can Use As always, we try to bring you as many items of interest that affect our community.  If you have any items that are important to share, please email us at

  • 328 Montgomery Street – Many residents have been closely following this project.  The project will be presented in front of the Historic Preservation Commission on Monday, 11/20/17 at approximately 6:30pm (it is first on the HPC agenda).  Come out and let your voices be heard!
  • East District Captain’s Meetings, which are regularly scheduled for the 4th Tuesday of every month at 7pm (typically in MS4 Library on Bright St., but location subject to change), are a great opportunity for community members to discuss crime/crime trends, quality of life issues, and other safety/security concerns with the JCPD.  For more information on upcoming meetings, reach out to the JCDP East District Community Relations Officer, Dina Lionakis, at 201.547.4370 /
  • JC Shovels – The Department of Public Works is preparing for the winter season by looking for volunteers for their JC Shovels Program.  This program connects volunteers with seniors in JC who are in need of assistance with snow shoveling.  For more information or to volunteer, click here.
  • JC Walks – The City of JC, in collaboration with the North Jersey Transportation Planning Authority, will be hosting Walkability Workshops to gain your input on how to make streets safer and more appealing for walking. There will be 6 Walkability Workshops at locations throughout the city. The events are FREE, and your participation is encouraged.  For more information and to RSVP, visit
  • The Friends of Liberty State Park (FOLSP) are urgently looking for your support in speaking out against a proposed massive commercial marina along LSP’s entire non-commercial south side, and to demand public hearings.  For more information on this issue, visit FOLSP’s  Facebook page.
  • Leaf CollectionFREE Leaf bags will be distributed at various park locations on Saturdays Only from Noon to 3:00PM, beginning September 30, 2017 through December 23, 2017.   Proof of residency is required (i.e. utility bill, driver’s license).  For the leaf bag distribution schedule and for the leaf pickup schedule, click here.

Stay Connected, Stay Informed……

  • In addition to receiving news you can use from VVPA, we encourage all residents to sign up to receive Community News / Updates from your elected officials. Sign up for updates from Candice Osborne , Jermaine Robinson and Steven Fulop by clicking on the links provided.  Or, you can reach out to your committee person for assistance on local matters.  Please reach out to for additional information on how to reach out to your local committeeperson.
  • Jersey City Resident Response Center is a resource available to all to find answers to commonly asked questions or to report non-emergency concerns/problems to the City of Jersey City (potholes, failure to pick up trash, fallen tree branch removal, etc.).  In addition to utilizing the JCRRC website, residents may also download the app on their phone (JerseyCityConnect) and can attach photos to any request to help clarify the concern (note: directions to download the app have been added to the VVPA website,  We encourage all to utilize these resources to help resolve issues in their community.

Stay Informed and Active in your Community by signing up for the NextDoor and Swift911 applications and monitoring local news through NJ.Com/hudson, and the Jersey Journal and Hudson Reporter newspapers.  Nextdoor is a private social network that connects neighbors to talk online and makes communities stronger, better and safer. The City uses the Swift911 platform to send citywide emergency and non-emergency alerts through a variety of channels including voice, text message, email, fax, pager, and social media such as Facebook and Twitter.  Registration is free, so join today.

Important City Public Meetings For the full schedule and location details of Important City Public Meetings, please refer to the Public Meetings Calendar found on the City of Jersey City website.  Remember, it’s YOUR COMMUNITY, so stay informed and stay involved!

Thanks to our Generous Sponsors!

We’d like to thank our sponsors Dixon Leasing: a subsidiary of Dixon Advisory and Barrow Mansion Development Corporation for their generous donations and Jersey Wine & Spirits for their sponsorship.  And, we always love working with Friends of Van Vorst Park!  Without our sponsors and friends, we would not be able to bring you so many FREE or low-cost events throughout the year.  We encourage all of you to support these businesses and let them know that you appreciate their donations!  If you are a local business that would like to become a VVPA sponsor, please reach out to the VVPA sponsorship committee at

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