News

May 2017 VVPA Meeting Minutes

16 May 2017, Posted by Yolanda Foley in Minutes, News You Can Use

Meeting Minutes – May 16th, 2017

7:05 pm – Call to Order – President Oona Moore

  • Welcome to all, welcome spring

Officer/Committee Reports

Treasurer Report – Oona Moore

  • All accounts in good standing

Construction Committee Report – Tom Ogorzalek

  • 198 Wayne St
    • New owner.  Empty property currently.  Have to amend redevelopment plan (Dixon), wanted VVPA thoughts on approach for this.  City Planning will have to re-open the redevelopment plan and send any proposed changes to VVPA
    • June or July there will be a presentation to whole community
    • Not in historic district, but concerns raised by construction committee on how developer will deal with adjacent properties, light/air and parking, etc.
    • Concern: if we change density standards for this property, how will this impact development of adjacent properties
  • 328 Montgomery
    • Moved over to Harsimus Cove — what are the owners planning on doing with the building?  Unknown at this time.  Will follow up with City to get more information if possible.
    • Will need to continue to monitor this to see if a tenant comes in and what planned use they have (not a nightclub)
  • Mercer St Rooftop ordinance/decks
    • Ordinance on the books which protects historic district, but not buildings outside the historic district.  Tried to work on city-wide ordinance.
  • Marco & Pepe will be a French Lebanese Restaurant – will be BYOB

Events Committee Report – Oona Moore

2nd Annual Golf Outing & Martini Party – Friday, June 9th, tee off @ 5pm @ Skyway Golf Course, JC. Tickets available via Eventbrite

  • Non golfers welcome too!  Putting contest & putt-putt game
  • Drinks, food, music, prizes and fun!
  • Discount prices available through 5/26/

Movies in the Park

  • Estimated to start June 14th; runs every other Wednesday throughout the summer @ the gazeebo in Van Vorst Park
  • If you have ideas for movies, email vvapnews@gmail.com

Arts Events Happening around JC

  • Volunteers for Arts Committee welcome!
  • JC Fridays – 1st Friday in June – art, music, etc. all throughout JC
  • Riverview Jazz Festival – Ogden Ave @ Palm St. Stage – June 3rd – June 10th
  • Brightside Tavern – First Mondays Jazz Performance
  • Victory Hall Drawing Room art shows, artist talks & reception, other events
  • JCAST October 14th/15th

Guest Speakers

Nick Grillo – Running councilman of Ward E; Democrat running as Independent Candidate

  • Born & raised in Village/Hamilton Park area
  • Piano player è pipe organist è Funeral Director è Purchased own funeral home in Bloomfield, NJ è Music Director @ Holy Rosary Church è Co-chair of La Festa Italiana since 1999
  • Political concerns: Quality of Life.  Has seen JC blossom over the years (construction debris, delivery trucks, noise).  Smart development – don’t overbuild, especially in/around historic areas, parking, etc.
  • Reval is a concern.  He is working to help encourage seniors to enroll in senior freeze.  And, has been working with JC Safe Streets
  • Abatements is a concern for him as well, ensuring the abatements are contributing to school funding
  • Embankment – supports making this the “highline” of JC, wants space for artists
  • Contact Info: Njgrillo.com; Twitter: @grillo4jc; Facebook: Nick Grillo
  • Questions from Community
    • Litter in front of properties – ideas for addressing this?
      • Solution: hire more workers, be sensitive to budget; grassroots campaigns
    • Balancing his own business with needs of being available for meetings as a councilperson?
      • Bec he owns his own business, can hire funeral directors as needed to attend necessary meetings
    • Why running?
      • Likes to help and serve people, loves JC, in very involved in JC, wants to continue to see this neighborhood blossom

Bright & Varick micro-unit project update

  • Background:
    • Project in Ward F.  Blighted site in 2011, at same meeting they adopted a new re-development plan.  Was supposed to be similar to neighborhood with parking.  VVPA not aware of plan.
    • Came to light to VVPA in 2013 – Developer never came to community to present.
    • Redevelopment plan didn’t have statute for density (how many units you can put on a parcel).  VVPA tried to re-open redevelopment plan – two weeks prior to us officially asking, application filed by developer with planning.
    • Developer didn’t want to meet w/ community.  VVPA hired lawyer.
    • Mayor’s office said there is ambiguity on density è need to go to planning
    • Developer wants automatic approval since planning presentation wasn’t scheduled
    • City tried case and lost @ local Hudson County Court.  VVPA got approval from court to take over case from City.
  • Current Status:
    • VVPA filed motion of reconsideration.  Met w/ City this afternoon and they said they will support and file a petition of certiorari.   Big deal: precedent setting – gives way for developers to have a mechanism for circumvent public process and zoning laws.    This has ramifications throughout the state.
    • City is now working in conjunction w/ VVPA attorney – looking to have JC and VVPA legal team work w/ league of municipalities
    • JCRA still owns the property
    • Continue to support – donate online or come to upcoming fundraisers
  • Strength in Community when you decide to do something together!  Simple things make a big difference!

Angela McKnight – Running for Assemblywoman for 31st District: all of Bayonne and parts of JC

  • Born and raised in JC.  Runs Angela Cares – Non-profit that works w/ seniors.
  • Ran for assemblywoman 2 years ago and won!  Has introduced legislation for seniors, disabled, animals, environment, and veterans.
  • Wants to win again!  Workaholic, will roll up sleeves and dig in.  Wants to partner with VVPA and community.
  • Need good person down in Trenton to look out for JC!  She likes to facilitate change.

Old Business/New Business

Announcements

  • Recognition for Board Member Angelo Estrada’s Community Leadership Awards
  • Reval – go to City’s Website for Property Tax Reval Map for information on who will be coming to do reval in your home
  • JSQ Farmers market on Fridays – Plan 2045 for Transportation Infrastructure will have table up there; For more info: www.njtpa.org/plan2045
  • JC Dept of Recreation – Free Boot Camp in VVP @ gazeebo – Tuesdays @ 7:15am
  • Sandra Lovely – Greenville Neighborhood Alliance
    • Board fully formed, Block Association workshop on Thursday
    • Goal: Want to create block associations in Ward A and F and want to bring them together to deal w/ issues.  Accomplishment: have created ~15 so far and have been making progress
    • Unity Walk – 6/10 – get community united to deal w/ violence.  Will have workshops following the walk (Go Fund Me Page).  Newstreetba2016@yahoo.com
  • North River Sing – Concert @ St. Matthew’s Church – Sun 6/11 @ 5pm. Theme: “Around the world in 80 minutes”.  $20 suggested donation.
  • Committee people looking to set up meeting with Jermaine Robinson councilman Ward F @ Dixon – will provide info to VVPA
  • Call for Volunteers for events committee and VVPA Farmers Market Welcome Table; Need to continually infuse organization with new members to expand the forces
  • Introduction of all VVP Committee-Persons candidates – Election June 6th
    • Andrea & Patrick Ducas – want to be more vocally connected to political platform; wants neighbors to have a voice.  Want candidates to work for endorsements.  Running for Ward E District 4
    • Bertram Okpokwasilli – current district person for District 28 – have tried to help people with traffic issues.  An attorney in JC, coach @ Roberto Clemente, sings in a group called the Prom Dates.
    • Loraine G – running with Bertram
    • Ben & Lynda Bernouy – Ward F District 30 – Longtime residents; Ben is on Board of VVPA.  Available for questions and very willing to help.
    • Joanna Arceri – E4 – JC resident 4 years, worked on Dan Levin’s campaign

Adjournment – 9:20 pm

May 2017 VVPA Monthly Newsletter

16 May 2017, Posted by Yolanda Foley in Meeting Agendas, News You Can Use

Monthly Meeting Details & Agenda
Whether you are new to the neighborhood or a long-time resident, this is YOUR COMMUNITY.  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 full of awesome guest speakers and great topics.  This month’s meeting features meet & greets with Assemblywoman Angela McKnight as well as with Nick Grillo, who will be running for Ward E Councilperson.  Additionally, there will be a discussion about the status of the Bright & Varick micro-unit project.

Agenda:

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

7:10pm – 7:30pm – Officer & Committee Reports

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

7:30pm – 7:50pm – Old Business/New Business

  • Community Awards – Angelo Estrada
    • Please join us in warmly congratulating Angelo for his much deserved awards for community leadership!  Angelo was recently awarded a Certificate of Recognition from the Office of the Mayor for his work as a community navigator in assisting immigrants through the immigration process.  Additionally, Angelo was given a special commendation from Casa Colombo, a community organization centered on Italian culture and heritage for his contributions to this organiztion. Congratulations, Angelo, and thank you for all the amazing outreach work you do for Jersey City!
  • Call for Volunteers
    • Events committee
    • VVPA Farmers Market Welcome Table
    • Please sign up at vvpanews@gmail.com or let a board member know that you are interested in volunteering
  • Community input is welcomed for any other new issues/concerns affecting our community, as well as ideas for topics or speakers at upcoming meetings

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

  • 7:50pm – 8:05pm – Angela McKnight
  • 8:05pm – 8:20pm – Nick Grillo
  • 8:20pm – 8:40pm – Bright & Varick micro-unit project update

8:40pm – 9:00pm – Announcements & Community networking

  • Introduction of all VVP Committee-Persons candidates

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 vvpanews@gmail.com.  And, as always, if you’d like to get more involved by becoming part of the events committee, the VVPA always welcomes volunteers.  Contact vvpanews@gmail.com to join in the fun!

VVPA Sponsored Events

Thanks to all of our sponsors and business who donated to the 80’s Prom, as well as all of you who attended this totally rad event!

2nd Annual VVPA Golf Outing – Friday, June 9th, 5pm
It’s Tee and Tini time at the 2nd annual VVPA Golf Outing and Martini Party at the Skyway Golf Course!  We had a blast at last year’s inaugural event, and this year promises to be even better!  There will be a 9-hole scramble for the golfers and a putting contest for the non-golfers.  Dinner, drinks, prizes and an awesome evening of golf and fun!!!!  Tickets available via Eventbrite – click here to purchase!  Discounted tickets available for early registration!!  And, sponsorship opportunities are available – contact vvpanews@gmail.com for additional information on this unique opportunity. 

Films In Van Vorst – June – September
The 13th season of Films in Van Vorst, a FREE bi-weekly outdoor film series is almost here!  We’re busy selecting films and getting things ready to kickoff in June.  Full schedule forthcoming – stay tuned!

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

Black & White Ball – Thursday, May 18th 6pm – 9pm
The Jersey City Free Public Library Foundation is holding their Black & White Ball and silent auction on May 18th at Liberty Prime.  The mission of the Foundation is to provide access, services, materials, and programming that address the needs of Jersey City’s growing and truly multicultural population.  Contributions will help support ongoing renovations of Jersey City’s Main Library.  For more information, and tickets, click here.

JC Fitness Fair – Saturday, May 20th 10am – 5pm
Come on out to the 2nd annual JC Fitness Fair, a fun event with local fitness and health businesses in our community.  For more information, click here.

Market Place JC – Saturday, May 20th, 11am – 5pm
MarketPlace JC (previously called 6th Boro Market) is a food and goods vendor market. This market will take place one Saturday a month from May to October in the Mack-Cali parking lot (5/20, 6/17, 7/15, 8/12, 9/9 & 10/21).  Click here for additional information.

JC Fridays – Friday, June 2nd
JC Fridays is a quarterly, FREE arts festival in Jersey City presented by Art House Productions.  For more information, click here.

Mercer Street Stoop & Sidewalk Sale – Saturday, June 18th, 10:30am – 3:30pm
On June 18th (rain date: June 19th) come on out to this huge multi-family stoop and sidewalk sale!  There will be all sorts of goods for sale at excellent prices, including vintage picture frames, kids toys, books, home goods, clothes, flatware, and much, much more.  And, if you would like to join in on the festivities (you will be added to the event’s official map), email: mercerstreetdesign@mac.com.  For more information about this fun annual event, click here.

*********************************************************************************************************************
Seasonal Events

  • The farmer’s market, brought to you by Friends of Van Vorst Park, is up and running on Saturday mornings at the gazeebo in Van Vorst Park.  The Farmer’s Market runs Saturdays, from 8am – 3pm, through December 23rd.
  • The Historic Downtown Farmer’s Market, brought to you by the Historic Downtown Special Improvement District (HDSID), is up and running on Monday’s at the Grove PATH Plaza.
  • Groove on Grove, a weekly local music series at the Grove PATH Plaza, is back for its 10th season!  Performances on Wednesdays from 6pm-9pm.

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 vvpanews@gmail.com.

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 vvpanews@gmail.com.

  • 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 / dlionakis@njjcps.org.

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 vvpanews@gmail.com 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, www.vvpa.org).  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.
  • JC Parking Authority – To get daily updates on whether or not parking rules are in effect in Jersey City, you can follow @JCParking on Twitter.  Due to a computer error, the Parking Division has not been able to issue permit renewal notices on a regular basis. They are working on correcting this issue. Please check your permit expiration date, and if you have not received a renewal, please call 201-547-5538 or ext. 2115,2117, or 2119.

Ten Things You Can Do to Improve Your Neighborhood

1.  Clean up your sidewalk and curb
2.  Ask your neighbors if they need help
3.  Be quieter after 10pm every day
4.  If you have a driveway, do not park on the street
5.  Curb and clean up after your dog
6.  Attend community meetings
7.  Get involved in your local neighborhood association, or start one!
8.  Download Jersey City’s See Click Fix app and use it to report any problems
9.  If you see something – say something – report it to the police hotline (201) 547-5477
10.  Vote in your local elections!

Thanks to Councilman Yun for sharing his simple, yet effective ideas on how to make a difference in our communities.


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 vvpanews@gmail.com.

April 2017 VVPA Monthly Newsletter

16 May 2017, Posted by Yolanda Foley in Meeting Agendas, News You Can Use

Monthly Meeting Details & Agenda
Whether you are new to the neighborhood or a long-time resident, this is YOUR COMMUNITY.  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 full of awesome guest speakers and great topics.  This month’s meeting features a Q&A with Councilwoman Candice Osborne; JC’s Director of Recreation, Kevin Williamson, who will be discussing summer youth and adult programs in JC; and Sandra Lovely, Executive Director of the newly formed board for the Greenville Neighborhood Alliance, who will be sharing information on their grassroots programs and future goals.

Agenda:

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

7:10pm – 7:30pm – Officer & Committee Reports

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

7:30pm – 7:50pm – Old Business/New Business

  • We need volunteers for VVPA Farmers Market Welcome Table
    • Help man a table with a VVPA board member to sign up new members and introduce VVPA to the community
  • Urgent Call for 80’s Prom volunteers!!!!  Setup: Saturday, 4/29, from noon – ???; Breakdown: Sunday, 4/30, time TBD
  • Parking Director Meeting Follow-Up
  • Community input is welcomed for any other new issues/concerns affecting our community, as well as ideas for topics or speakers at upcoming meetings

7:50pm – 8:40pm – Guest Speakers & Presentations

  • 7:50pm – 8:10pm – Candice Osborne
  • 8:10pm – 8:30pm – Kevin Williamson
  • 8:30pm – 8:40pm – Sandra Lovely

8:40pm – 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 vvpanews@gmail.com.  And, as always, if you’d like to get more involved by becoming part of the events committee, the VVPA always welcomes volunteers.  Contact vvpanews@gmail.com to join in the fun!

VVPA Sponsored Events

80’s Prom Remix/ Dance Party – April 29th, 7pm – 11pm
Moonwalk back to the 1980’s at the VVPA Events Committee’s next dance party: the 80’s prom Remix at the Barrow Mansion on 4/29/17!  Tickets are on sale thru Eventbrite – get yours today!  $25 in advance, $30 at the door.  Music by DJ Marvilous, light snacks included, cash bar.  Prizes for prom king and queen, best hair, best couple, and best costume!  Corsages will be available for purchase on the night of the event. It will be totally awesome, dude!

2nd Annual VVPA Golf Outing – Friday, June 9th
Mark your calendars!!!!  Planning for the 2nd annual VVPA Golf Outing is underway!  Like last year, there will be a 9-hole scramble for the golfers and a putting contest for the non-golfers.  Cold beer, prizes and an awesome evening of golf!  Stay tuned for details!

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

Sandra and Glenn D. Cunningham Foundation Wine & Beer Tasting – Wednesday, April 19th, 6pm-9pm
Come on out to this wine and beer tasting event to benefit their college scholarship foundation.  This event will take place at the Liberty House Restaurant in Liberty State Park.  For tickets, contact Larry Eccleston 201.725.6964

Annual Historic Paulus Hook Neighborhood Association Pancake Breakfast – Sunday, April 23rd, 9am
Join our neighbors to the east at their annual all you can eat Pancake Breakfast at St. Peter’s Prep. Pancakes, fruit, sausages and gluten free pancakes are available for all. Music, piñatas and face painting provided to for children’s entertainment.  Purchase tickets at the door or at www.paulushook.org/pancakes.

2nd Annual Great Jersey City Cleanup – April 29th, 10am – 2pm
Before heading out to the 80’s prom, help to do your part in keeping Jersey City beautiful by joining the 2nd Annual Great Jersey City Cleanup.  Ward E volunteers will meet in the Mary Benson park, Ward F volunteers will meet in the Berry Lane park.  For more information, click here.

Hudson County Department of Health & Human Services Resource Fair – April 29th, 10am – 2pm
Spread the word about this FREE resource fair at the Hudson County Schools of Technology, sponsored by the County’s Department of Health and Human services.  Featuring free health screenings, as well as information about resources available to county residents: senior and veteran services, nutrition services, transportation services, career services, and youth services, just to name a few.  Take advantage of this FREE fair to learn what resources are available to help you.  Face painting, balloon art, hot dogs and more will be provided.  For more information, call 201-369-5280, ext. 4232.

Newport 10K- Saturday, May 6th, 8:30am-11:30am
Lace up your running shoes for the annual Newport 10K!  Registration is now open for this awesome and scenic race around the Newport area.  For more information, click here.

*********************************************************************************************************************
Seasonal Events

  • Beginning April 22nd, the farmer’s market, brought to you by Friends of Van Vorst Park, will be starting up again on Saturday mornings at the gazeebo in Van Vorst Park.  The Farmer’s Market will run Saturdays, from 8am – 3pm, through December 23rd.
  • Starting May 1st, the Historic Downtown Farmer’s Market, brought to you by the Historic Downtown Special Improvement District (HDSID), will be starting up again on Monday’s at the Grove PATH Plaza.
  • Starting May 10th, Groove on Grove, a weekly local music series at the Grove PATH Plaza, is back for its 10th season!  Performances on Wednesdays from 6pm-9pm.

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 vvpanews@gmail.com.

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 vvpanews@gmail.com.

  • 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 / dlionakis@njjcps.org.

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 vvpanews@gmail.com 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, www.vvpa.org).  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.
  • JC Parking Authority – To get daily updates on whether or not parking rules are in effect in Jersey City, you can follow @JCParking on Twitter.  Due to a computer error, the Parking Division has not been able to issue permit renewal notices on a regular basis. They are working on correcting this issue. Please check your permit expiration date, and if you have not received a renewal, please call 201-547-5538 or ext. 2115,2117, or 2119.

Ten Things You Can Do to Improve Your Neighborhood

1.  Clean up your sidewalk and curb
2.  Ask your neighbors if they need help
3.  Be quieter after 10pm every day
4.  If you have a driveway, do not park on the street
5.  Curb and clean up after your dog
6.  Attend community meetings
7.  Get involved in your local neighborhood association, or start one!
8.  Download Jersey City’s See Click Fix app and use it to report any problems
9.  If you see something – say something – report it to the police hotline (201) 547-5477
10.  Vote in your local elections!

Thanks to Councilman Yun for sharing his simple, yet effective ideas on how to make a difference in our communities.


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 vvpanews@gmail.com.

Tee and Tini Time!

08 May 2017, Posted by Yolanda Foley in Updates

It’s that time of year again!  The VVPA present’s our 2nd annual Golf Outing on Friday, June 9th!

Tees & Tinis—That’s golf tees and martinis—fun for everyone! For the seasoned golfer–take your shot at Hudson County’s only public golf course (the Skyway Golf Course at Lincoln Park West), and a challenging one at that! Shotgun start at 5pm, beverages on the course –throw in a few “games” and then retreat back for martinis and dinner. For the non seasoned golfer– Happy Hour on the course starts at 5:30pm. We’ve got martinis and putt putt games for prizes, snacks and socializing while we wait for our golfer friends to return for dinner. The sun sets over the Pulaski Skyway as we share our golf stories and get to know each other a little better. We had a great time last year…join us and see what the fun is all about!

Check out the Eventbrite link for more information and to buy tickets!

A Totally Awesome 80’s Prom ReMix!

21 Apr 2017, Posted by Yolanda Foley in Events, News You Can Use, Updates

Free Drink Ticket with purchase!  ONE WEEK ONLY!

Buy your Prom tickets online this week from April 19th to the 26th and get a free drink at the Prom!! And don’t worry, if you’ve already bought your tickets we’ve got you as well!!!

Big Hair?  Check
Shoulder pads? Check
Neon colors? Check
Sunglasses at night? Check

Now get your tickets….(and your free drink ticket)

WHEN: Saturday April 29th
WHERE: The Barrow Mansion, 83 Wayne Street
TIME: 7-11 pm
ATTIRE: 80’s Attire–the more Prom like the better, for sure.
PROM TICKET:  $25 online at Eventbrite–$30 at the door

MUST BE 21 or over….ID’s checked at the door

Dancing with DJ Marvilous!  Munchies by Edward’s Steakhouse, The Brightside Tavern & more!  $5 bodacious beverages!

Check out Another Man’s Treasure...they’re putting together some totally rad outfits in case you’re looking for the perfect 80’s look.  And you should be since we have prizes from Orale & Gypsy Grill (more to come) for Prom King & Queen, Best Hair, Best Couple & Best Costume!!

Can’t wait to like, totally see you there– like, for sure.

Thanks to our Co-Sponsor:

April 2017 VVPA Monthly Meeting Minutes

21 Apr 2017, Posted by Yolanda Foley in Minutes

Meeting Minutes – April 18th, 2017

7:10 pm – Call to Order – President Oona Moore

Officer/Committee Reports

Treasurer Report – Dermot Ronan

  • All accounts in good standing

Construction Committee Report – Tom Ogorzalek

  • No major updates. However, the season has arrived for an uptick in construction activity in general.  Every construction site has a placards on it with contact info to report issues.  Or, call the RRC.

Events Committee Report – Oona Moore

  • 80’s Prom Remix!!!!  Saturday, 4/29/17 –7pm
    • Buy tickets in advance through Eventbrite; $25 in advance, $30 at the door
    • Prizes for best couple, best hair, best costume, prom King & Queen
    • Donations from local businesses for prizes and food
  • Golf Outing – Friday, June 9th, 5pm – tickets will be on sale soon!
    • Skyway Golf Course. Putting contest for non-golfers
  • Van Vorst Farmer’s Market – Begins Saturday, 4/22
    • VVPA will have a table out there to solicit new community members into the VVPA – volunteers are welcome for this weekend or other weekends throughout the summer

Guest Speakers

Councilwoman Candice Osborne

  • Parking Meeting Update – Attendees: Candice, Mayor, Parking Director + rep from each neighborhood association
    • Preliminary ideas/goals, need to be flushed out
      • Reduce zones downtown to a single zone.
      • Increase hours of enforcement 7am – 10pm w/ 2 hr window
      • Issue with non-residents parking (construction workers, Manhattan workers, etc.) can be helped via a Muni-meter.  Idea is if you have a zone sticker = no payment req’d; no-sticker = payment req’d.  Don’t want to out-price other residents in other parts of JC.  Needs to be coupled with enforcement and technology
      • Considering demand pricing.  Example: put in license info and if you are a JC resident, you get 2-hrs for free, but a non-JC resident may pay $20.
      • Need more municipal parking lots!  And need to give consideration to how permits are given to employees of local businesses
      • Additional thoughts from community:
        • City needs to advertise the parking that exists so that people know where to go
        • Turn federal lots (section 8 housing) into city municipal lots?  Candice to follow up
        • Permit parking or rentable spots in new construction building
      • Next parking meeting May 23rd
  • Reval
    • Asked for someone from Company performing Reval to come out to discuss this process at each of the downtown community meetings
    • Goal of rates going into effect 3rd/4th quarters of 2018
    • Everyone is being reassessed (regardless if Tax Abatement property or not) – impact for abated properties will depend on how the abatement is written
    • Asked valuation to take into account flood zoning
    • Will state funding formula change?
      • She will be meeting w/ the state to discuss
      • Funding comprised of two elements: Abbott funding (State Law) plus state adjustment aid, which is the piece that could potentially change.  Have to stay tuned for any information.
    • Estimated rate – assessed value X 1.8% – 1.9% [Note: this is for estimating purposes only – these numbers should not be construed as official!!]
      • Example: $500K Assessment è1.8% – 1.9% would be $9,000 – $,9500
      • Example: $1M Assessment è 1.8% – 1.9%  would be $18,000 – $19,000
    • Community Concerns
      • The City can lessen the impact on citizens by bringing down whole city budget (shrink departments through attrition, etc.).  Or, can the new rateables help bring down the cost to the rest of the city?
      • What impact will this have on property values?
        • As your taxes go up, the value of your property could go down. This is market dynamics
      • Tax Appeals in droves will be a certainty
        • Potential option: 5-year rolling reval?
        • State law needs to change!
      • Civic JC put great info up regarding the tax appeal process
  • Redistricting for voting purposes
    • Can only be done after the consensus (per law)
    • She will be meeting with the county to draw it out so that it can be thought about in advance.   Possibly need to reallocate?
  • Miscellaneous Updates
    • Candice working on an app with department of public safety

Councilman Jermaine Robinson – Ward F

  • Trash – he is trying to respond to concerns about trash in the neighborhood.  One option is to adjust street cleaning time (option came about based on community feedback)
    • Community asked that he consider input from all impacted: teachers, residents, businesses, etc. before any decisions made
  • Gun Violence in Ward F
    • Met w/ Director Shea and Mayor re: enforcement related to recent murder – was in hospital on Easter with the 10 year old who was killed.
    • Bail Loophole: unless classified as danger to society you are out w/in 48 hrs.  Illegal handguns are not considered reason for holding people.
    • Part of the issues is community won’t help the police – fear of being known as a snitch / fear of retaliation
    • Police are not always trusted in the community
    • Trying to convince the experienced officers that know the streets to go back out vs. sending only rookies out to walk the streets.  What can city do to incentivize this?
    • All community is encouraged to attend East District Captain Meetings to hear info, voice concerns – 4th Tuesday of the Month
    • What more can we do as citizens of the city?
    • Can we re-open the gyms to give kids a place to go?
      • City council trying to work with board of education on this issue, but not in City’s control

Kevin Williamson – Director of Recreation

  • He wants to have conversations with the communities in order to make the city’s recreation programs better
  • Recreation programs (after school activities) and schools (safe environments) are reasons that could keep families in this City
    • Sports = safe haven.  Want to make recreation more inclusive: example art, civics, etc.
    • Program: School 15 – learning about being on the “good” side of the law, instead of being on “bad” side, as well as career opportunities in law enforcement.
      • Will track the kids to see what progress takes place over their lifetime: 7th grade to 12th grade.  Helping them finish high school?  Get into college?
      • Mentoring program opportunities available
    • Will designate Ward Captains for each community.
    • Need to cross pollinate city a bit more and help integrate all across the city.
    • RecDesk will be a link in the JC website for information on the options available
    • All inclusive – programs geared towards adults and kids

New Business

  • Angelo working w/ RRC to help immigrants with citizenship applications
  • Mercer Street Stoop Sale – June 17th (Rain Date: June 18th) – Contact Lorraine to participate or for information
  • Recap of parking meeting with Parking Director Mary Spinello
    • Department understaffed – need to hire more, good people
    • Envisioning overlap schedule (example: 6am – 2:30pm; 2pm -10pm) with 14-15 officers downtown area
    • Difficulty ascertaining which buildings downtown have parking so that residents don’t get on-street parking when they aren’t allowed
  • Director of Innovation – Brian Platt wants input:
    • Wireless kiosks – What is the purpose of this? Community want more information on this.
    • Catch basin graffiti art – to try and draw attention to anti-litter campaign
      • General consensus – not in favor of it because it will attract more graffiti. Instead:
        • Reconstitute the “stop the drop” campaign
        • Enforcement of the anti-litter ordinances would help also
        • And, each neighbor can help out if they see issues – report or talk to your neighbors to help address

Adjournment – 9:15 pm

March 2017 VVPA Monthly Meeting Minutes

02 Apr 2017, Posted by Yolanda Foley in Updates

Meeting Minutes – March 21, 2017

7:05 pm – Call to Order – President Oona Moore

  • Tribute to Margaret Webber who recently passed away. Margaret was a Mercer St. Resident, Longtime member of VVPA, founding member of Drawing Room and Pro Arts.

Officer/Committee Reports

Treasurer Report – Dermot Ronan

  • All accounts in good standing, donations welcome

Events Committee Report –Marlene Sandkamp

  • Holi Event – very well received.
  • 80’s Prom April 29th – 7pm – 11pm, DJ, light food, cash bar. $25 in advance, $30 at door, prizes for prom king/queen, etc.!
  • Golf Outing – June 9th – target tee time 5pm.  Scramble & putting contest

Guest Speakers

  • Assemblyman Nicholas Chiaravalloti
    • Background:
      • 31st Legislative District, JC is large part of district, also has Bayonne
      • Formerly worked for Bob Menendez
      • Strong believer in improving infrastructure, he is a member or Transportation Committee including Port Authority, NJ Transit and Hudson Bergen Light Rail
    • Concerns w/ budget and school funding formula
    • Committed to protecting JC and resources we are currently getting
    • Jersey Ave Bridge Extension – project funding is allotted and ready to go ($ from Washington).
      • He will help to get Turnpike Authority to come back to meet with us to discuss final plans and how it impacts city transportation plans as well.
    • Challenges – PATH – need another tunnel and capacity to expand.  PA needs to re-think entire way we think about PATH system.  Can’t just maintain the system, have to grow it.
    • Revals – State is very reliant on property taxes in NJ, so it may be difficult to change reval system.
      • Reval company will hold a meeting after the reval is done for addressing concerns and making adjustments.  If still have issues, can file tax appeal.
    • Taxes – A community member suggested a theory that due to an overlap of services this may be leading to high taxes.  In less dense counties, consolidation makes sense, may not make sense everywhere.
      • Response from Mayor Fulop:  consolidation doesn’t always work – example: bid out garbage contract w/ Union City – bids higher, less vendors that could handle size/geography.
    • He will schedule periodic visits with VVPA as he is our conduit to Trenton.

 

  • Executive Director of Parking Mary Spinello
      • Lost employees with merger.  Since then, city has hired replacements, still looking to hire more, including more of a night crew.  Wants to have 1 officer per zone per day (2 for larger zones).  Doing 1 day/month Sunday for enforcement.
        • Focus areas: Permits, prohibited areas (corners, fire hydrants, handicapped spots)
        • Trying to balance giving tickets with understanding residents having limited parking
        • 25’ from corner is illegal (doesn’t’ have to be painted or posted).  Try to keep crosswalks clear.
        • Call the office 5am – 11:30pm M-F; 6:30am-5pm Sat for immediate complaints (blocking fire hydrant, etc.).  Other more steady complaints, use See Click Fix/RRC Ms. Paretti Spinello’s contact info: mparetti@jcnj.org; 201-547-5538

 

  • Parking Questions from Community

 

    • Hoboken has modern system – can we do this instead of Band-Aid repairs?
      • In process of looking at permit programs connected to license plates
      • Muni Meters – tried in heights — didn’t work.  Downtown may be more familiar with their use.
      • Working on plan for pay by phone
      • Evaluating possibly re-creating the parking zones to be by Ward vs. how they currently are today
      • Happy to revisit resident only parking on one side of the street proposal
      • She is open to trying new ideas, willing to sit down w/ VVPA and other neighborhood associations to try and work on solutions
    • Shuttle busses by PATH – Police giving hassle to bus drivers, so the pickup location changes periodically without notice.  Community needs consistency re: what side of street to meet on.
      • Ms. Spinello will work w/ Commerce Dept to help address it.
    • Double parking on Columbus/lack of enforcement = danger for bikes and pedestrians.  Cops not there consistently.  Generally happens between 5-8pm.
      • Ms. Spinello will alert the parking officer in the area to increase focus/enforcement.
    • Has the department caught up on the parking permits computer issue?  [People didn’t know they had to re-up their permit because reminders weren’t being sent out]
      • They believe they are caught up, not 100% sure.
    • Parking options for non-residents?  Not a lot of options.
      • This needs to be looked into further in a more holistic approach w/ City
    • Can we modernize appeal system for tickets?
      • Municipal courts responsible for driving this process.
  • Mayor Fulop – Sci Tech City
      • Wants to clarify misinformation out there
      • Project has been out there for 2+ years and thoroughly thought through
      • Once in a lifetime opportunity to develop a world class science institution , train /develop/teach young persons on JC STEM, attract brightest mind
      • Property is 16 acres – was junk yard for decades, went through 3 decades of no one wanting it for development.  Not worth anything unless zoning and density is changed.
      • Not a gift, it is a partnership.  We share in revenue stream.  LSC not buying at market value bec then City would have to create a re-development that warrants sale at market value and the project wouldn’t happen.
      • LSC will have to raise $78M for project –will also try to get Federal funds/grants, etc. to offset the amount they have to raise.  After LSC recoups their investment, revenue stream will be split between JC & LSC according to prescribed schedule in contract.
      • If it fails, or any of the items are defaulted in the project, land comes back to the City
      • Plan is for a traditional public school K-12.  Will need to discuss more fully with Board of Ed when time comes with donor money
      • Protected not to transfer to a not for profit; Getting a school out of the deal
      • Questions from Community
      • What is plan to address impact of traffic, infrastructure, etc.
        • Will need to do site plan approval, including traffic study.
      • Source of Revenue flow?
        • Business incubator, tech lab, visiting professor housing.  Nurture small businesses to become large businesses
      • Where exactly is this located?  Is Liberty Humane Society being kicked out?
        • 16 acres south of LSC – not kicking out Liberty Humane Society.  Working w/ LHS on this.
      • Community engagement – was this fast tracked through?  Discussions with Ward F?
        • Has been out there in the public for 2 years.
      • Any educational institutions on board with this project?
        • None affiliated with the project as of yet.  But Mayor Fulop believes that it will be successful even w/o them on board
      • Jersey Ave Bridge: concerns that it will become a “hidden highway”
        • State earmarked $10 M for that bridge. Shovel ready.  Small piece of property under federal control – working it out with them.  Mayor does not have access to what designs are right now.  Goal: not use it as a cut-through.  Design it with islands, etc. or use calming measures or lights, etc. to address this.
      • Any similar projects in the city we can learn from?
        • Not that he is aware of.
        • Rolando Lavarro indicated NYC is building a tech hub where land was donated and this could be a comparator
      • He hopes you join w/ FOLSP and Morris Canal Group in supporting this

 

  • Councilman Yun – alternative viewpoint on Sci-Tech City from his constituents in The Heights

 

    • Agrees on Sci-Tech city idea.  But need to know small fine print
    • Not clear what the effect will be on tax bill and budget, especially in future
    • Land has value – concerns about transfer of land to JCRA who will sell to a designated developer.  LSC will hold land and lease land to private developers
      • Note: Lawyer on project says that statement is incorrect and that land has to stay in non-profit status
    • Concerns that after construction is finished in 7 years, developer may say that they can’t find people to rent space in Sci-Tech city then it will be filled with non-scientific residents.  Further, we may never see a penny in revenue.
    • Better option: Lease it; Propose: Sell land to JCRA who will sell to LSC, or lease land to private developer – rent income from builders.  Need to study financial benefit.
  • City Planner Annisia Cialone
    • Background: 11 year resident in JC.  Worked as an architect, and urban planner, doing urban design.  Represented community organizations for development oversight.
      • Believes it is important for open dialogue w/ city planner.  Focused on big ideas professionally.  Look to future and ask: what do we want things to be?  Have dialogue early and set vision for city and work within that vision.  Currently one-off discussions and approvals.
      • Best way to have input and dialogue?  Through neighborhood associations

 

    • Opportunities/Comments:
      • Master Plan
        • Tools need to be updated to match the vision and master plan (regulations, zoning, etc.)
        • She will have a detailed action plan with follow ups, responsibilities and funding to ensure that it is a living, breathing document.
        • Vendor will need to have a variety of community engagement sessions
        • RFP was drafted – stopped for now to make sure we do it right before we proceed, and wants to ensure adequate staffing to be ready for handling master plan
      • Increase citizen participation and involvement earlier in the process
        • Need early citizen participation codified by administration to get weight behind that requirement.  Creates partnership, saves time & money, reduces stress
      • Need better way to get information to the masses to prevent misinformation
        • Public Notice time should be advanced – will look at this.
      • End of compartmentalization of development – cutting up fabric of the city
        • Need an urban designer on staff in the city – she is working on that.  She has to develop comprehensive staffing plan and responsibilities to be able to fill position and get funding to properly staff.
      • Volume/pace of development in City – how will planning director be able to push back on this?
        • Need to continue to dialogue with Port Authority to address transportation concerns.
        • Mayor Fulop: Port Authority is reactive and they will adapt to our growth/change
        • PATH in capital plan extending cars and platforms
        • Need more imagination to get across the river
        • Intra city transportation – how to connect communities?  Transportation planner on her staff will be looking into this.  Will start Bike Mater plan (city-wide)
      • Access to Information
        • Office of Innovation – efficiency audit of the planning office, moving on many of the items.  More modern, better functioning office, getting ne system to get ability to digitize documents.
      • Community boards vs. neighborhood associations?  Could be a way to formalize the process and could get input from residents that don’t come to the neighborhood associations.
      • Blighting – why is the City doing redevelopment plans in downtown anymore?  Shouldn’t be blighting!
        • Brunswick Triangle.  Rehabilitation, not redevelopment.  Developers picking up parcels one by on and going to zoning for variances for more development.  Getting renovations for the nearby park.

New Business

  • Acquiring a building to make a museum near PATH system Journal Square

Adjournment – 9:20 pm

March 2017 Monthly Meeting Reminder & Important Updates

Just a friendly reminder that the next VVPA monthly meeting will be held on Tuesday, March 21st at 7:00pm in The Barrow Mansion, located at 83 Wayne St.  Please note that there have been a few updates and changes to the agenda – there’s something for everybody at this meeting!

New Agenda ItemWe will have a short meet and greet with the new City Planner, Annisia Cialone, regarding her role and the City-wide Master Plan;

New Agenda Item: Come hear Council President Rolando Lavarro and Ward F City Councilman Jermaine Robinson speak about the Liberty Science Center/Jersey City Joint Venture (Sci-Tech City) which ordinance is on the City Council’s Agenda for 3/22.  Please also see the Q&A about the project, prepared by Mayor Fulop, which appears later in this email.

And, finally, let’s talk about what to wear to the upcoming Totally Awesome 80’s Prom!!


Monthly Meeting Details & Agenda
Whether you are new to the neighborhood or a long-time resident, this is YOUR COMMUNITY.  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!

This month’s meeting features a meet and greet with new City Planner, a meet and greet with Assemblyman Chiaravalotti, the Executive Director of Parking Mary Spinello will answer prepared questions about parking enforcement in Jersey City, and Council President Lavarro  and Ward F Councilman Robinson to explain the Sci-Tech City plan and why they support it.

Agenda:

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

7:10pm – 7:25pm – Officer & Committee Reports

  • Treasurer Report – Dermot Ronan
  • Events Committee Report – Marlene Sandkamp

7:25pm – 8:35pm – Guest Speakers & Presentations

  • City Planner Annisia Cialone
  • Assemblyman Nicholas Chiaravalloti
  • Executive Director of Parking Mary Spinello
  • City Council President Rolando Lavarro and Ward F Councilman Jermaine Robinson

8:35pm – 8:55pm – New Business

  • Community input is welcomed for any other new issues/concerns affecting our community.

8:55pm – 9:00pm – Announcements & Community networking


Q&A: Liberty Science Center/Jersey City Joint Venture (Sti-Tech City) – by Mayor Fulop

In an effort to clear up some misconceptions and to clarify some details, Mayor Fulop has prepared and shared with us Q&As regarding the new Liberty Science Center/Jersey City Joint Venture

Question: What is LSC relationship to Jersey City, I don’t believe LSC is invested in Our city?
Answer: LSC is invested in Jersey City
• Employs 101 Jersey City residents (33% of total labor force)
• 1,935 Jersey City families have LSC memberships
This will expand of course with SciTech city. 

Question: What is the current relationship with the Jersey City schools?
Answer:
• 30,500 Jersey City students visited in 2016 (82% of student population)
• Provides free STEM education programs to 5,740 Jersey City students
and teachers by obtaining $465,000 in grant funding
• 100 Jersey City teachers participate in LSC professional development
programs annually

Question: Is this a gift to the Science Center?
Answer: No. This is a shared venture that the city benefits from as PARTNERS. The project will generate revenues for the non-profit (operating income, ground lease income etc.).   Over time, if you add up this surplus each year when it exceeds the amount of money raised in donations for this project.  At that moment this surplus will begin to be shared 50/50 with the City until the City receives its appraised value.  Once the City receives its appraised the split is reduced to 80/20 nonprofit/City forever.  So over time the City will eventually get more than its appraised value for the land.  This is truly a joint venture but City is protected in every scenario including ultimately getting value for the property beyond all of the other important benefits (school etc.).  The appraised value is really just a way to indicate when the split goes from 50/50 to 80/20.  With all that said, our goal is not about making money here but about further strengthening our city. 

Question: What is the risk to the city? 
Answer: None. The city is a partner in revenue and in the case of any violation there are reverter clauses if they don’t build the project, violate terms of the agreements or property is transferred to, or ever owned by, a for-profit entity then the entire property returns to the city. 

Question: Will this be a traditional Jersey City Public School?
Answer: Yes. This will be a Jersey City traditional public school. Cost of schools recently constructed in Jersey City have been more than $50million.  This will be at no cost to tax payers. 

Question: I heard LSC is losing money. Is that accurate? 
Answer: No. $4.5m in operating funds generated in FY16.  After debt service, capital investments in facility etc, lsc has $1.4m in net revenues from operations.  

Question: What is the attendance at LSC?
Answer: During the past four years, LSC’s attendance has grown 53%, to more than 650,000 visitors annually, making the Center the fastest growing established museum in the United States.  That growth should continue with the opening at LSC in December 2017 of the biggest and most technologically-advanced planetarium in the Western Hemisphere, which will draw tourists to Jersey City and serve as an unparalleled educational resource for students and families in New Jersey

Question: The city gave LSC a loan in 2008. Was this load repaid? 
Answer: Yes. LSC borrowed $2.5M from UEZ in 20008/09; the loan was fully repaid by 9/1/2011.  There is no current debt to the city or state on the LSC balance sheets. Since the time of the loan nearly the entire board and executive leadership has been changed. They have taken a once struggling entity well into the black. 

Question: Why not sell the property? 
Answer: The current proposals are for a major convention center and hotel being built by a private developer. An alternative plan that some have suggested is selling the property for maximum dollars which would mean thousands of high rise condos in this location. Our administration doesn’t believe either of these plans are in the best interest of all residents with regards to the potential we have in creating a citywide asset like SciTech city at this particular city site adjacent to liberty state park. While previous administrations would probably have sold this for short term gain we are trying to invest in a city asset, build a new school and a new science hub for generations of Jersey City residents to come. 

Question: What will this mean to Ward F?
Answer: This will take vacant property and turn it into a $280 million dollar investment in Ward F (the largest ever) that will create permanent jobs, construction jobs, and define Bergen Lafayette as the home of the premier science center in the region. It will create a new public school and inspire generations of future leaders who will surrounded by some the sharpest minds in the world. 

Question: Will any board member or affiliate  be a developer of this project?
Answer: No.

 

March 2017 VVPA Monthly Newsletter

08 Mar 2017, Posted by Yolanda Foley in Meeting Agendas, News You Can Use

Spring is almost here!!  Days are getting longer, weather is getting warmer, and there’s more activity in the community.  Let’s channel that spirit at the next VVPA monthly meeting, which will be held on Tuesday, March 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!

Monthly Meeting Details & Agenda
Whether you are new to the neighborhood or a long-time resident, this is YOUR COMMUNITY.  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!

This month’s meeting features guest speaker Assemblyman Nicholas Chiaravalloti to discuss state-level issues which affect Jersey City; and guest speaker Mary Spinello, Executive Director of Parking to answer questions about Parking Enforcement in Jersey City.


Agenda:

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

7:10pm – 7:30pm – Officer & Committee Reports

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

7:30pm – 7:50pm – New Business

  • Community input is welcomed for any other new issues/concerns affecting our community.

7:50pm – 8:40pm – Guest Speakers & Presentations

  • Assemblyman Nicholas Chiaravalloti
  • Executive Director of Parking Mary Spinello

8:40pm – 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 vvpanews@gmail.com.  And, as always, if you’d like to get more involved by becoming part of the events committee, the VVPA always welcomes volunteers.  Contact vvpanews@gmail.com to join in the fun!

VVPA Sponsored Events

Holi and Art Experience – Saturday, 3/11/17, 6:30pm – 10pm & Sunday, 3/12/17, 5pm – 8pm
Come experience South Asian art, music and culture as we celebrate the colorful spring festival of Holi!  The VVPA, in partnership with the Barrow Mansion present this FREE event which is sure to be an amazing time.  Complimentary light Indian fare and wine.  For more information, click here.

A Spring Affair: 80’s Themed Prom / Dance Party – April 29th
Mark your calendars!!!!  Moonwalk back to the 1980’s at the VVPA Events Committee’s next dance party: an 80’s themed prom at the Barrow Mansion on 4/29/17!  Stay tuned for more information!


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 vvpanews@gmail.com.

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 vvpanews@gmail.com.

  • Jersey City Property Tax Revaluation – The City of Jersey City is undertaking a city-wide revaluation of every property in the city which could impact your property taxes.  City-wide public information sessions are being held in every Ward throughout JC.  The Ward F meeting will be held on Saturday, 3/25/17 at 10am at the Mary McLeod Bethune Center (140 Martin Luther King Drive), and the Ward E meeting will be held on Tuesday, 3/28/17 at 7:30pm at Grace Church Van Vorst (39 Erie St.).
  • 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 / dlionakis@njjcps.org.

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 vvpanews@gmail.com 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, www.vvpa.org).  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.
  • JC Parking Authority – To get daily updates on whether or not parking rules are in effect in Jersey City, you can follow @JCParking on Twitter.  Due to a computer error, the Parking Division has not been able to issue permit renewal notices on a regular basis. They are working on correcting this issue. Please check your permit expiration date, and if you have not received a renewal, please call 201-547-5538 or ext. 2115,2117, or 2119.

Ten Things You Can Do to Improve Your Neighborhood

1.  Clean up your sidewalk and curb
2.  Ask your neighbors if they need help
3.  Be quieter after 10pm every day
4.  If you have a driveway, do not park on the street
5.  Curb and clean up after your dog
6.  Attend community meetings
7.  Get involved in your local neighborhood association, or start one!
8.  Download Jersey City’s See Click Fix app and use it to report any problems
9.  If you see something – say something – report it to the police hotline (201) 547-5477
10.  Vote in your local elections!Thanks to Councilman Yun for sharing his simple, yet effective ideas on how to make a difference in our communities.


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 vvpanews@gmail.com.

February 2017 VVPA Monthly Meeting Minutes

24 Feb 2017, Posted by Yolanda Foley in Minutes

Meeting Minutes – February 21, 2017

7:10 pm – Call to Order – President Oona Moore

  • Wine from South Africa in honor of Black History Month – from Jersey Wines
  • Make interest known to Dan to volunteer in a variety of capacities

Officer/Committee Reports

Treasurer Report – Dermot Ronan

  • All accounts in good standing, donations welcome
  • Don’t forget to attend our great events to help fundraise

Construction /Development Committee Report – Tom Ogorzalek

  • No new developers showed up to be heard
  • New Director of Planning, Anicia Cialone – communications with city should continue to be smooth

o   Looking for a more formal process for community input to development early on in the process

o   Will have her come to an upcoming VVPA meeting

  • Master Plan RFP – still sitting for final approval to go out – information on city portal

o   DCNA  plus other orgs around the city pushed the issue to get the best planning director for the city by doing a national search

  • Holland Tunnel Approach (139), uncovering the covered roadway – Joe Kuna is liaison to city on this project. Follow up w/ Candice for additional information

Events Committee Report – Eric Carter/Marlene Sandkamp

  • 80’s prom – late April or early May in Barrow Mansion – stay tuned for more info!
  • Golf Outing in early summer
  • Films in Van Vorst – send ideas to vvpanews@gmail.com

Guest Speakers

  • 99 Ranch
    • Audrey & Yung – supplied cookies and treats as well as coupons
    • Company originally from Southern California.  99 means longevity in Chinese; ranch is representative of agriculture and symbolic for fresh quality products
    • Asian and American groceries, live seafood + free filleting services
    • Will open in April; Hours will be 9am – 9pm
    • Supermarket is hiring – joined Urban Enterprise Zone Program
  • Bike JC
    • Katie Brennan, Tony Borelli, Patrick
    • Non-profit group, 8 yrs old, advocacy group to make better for bikers and pedestrians
    • All Ward Bike Tour – June 4th, Studio tours, etc.
    • Grand Street Vision –
      • Not here to take anyone’s parking spots away!
      • Thoughts about Grand street? – connects neighborhoods, fast, not aesthetically pleasing, dangerous, not pedestrian friendly
      • Road Diet – complete street vision: safe, well-lit, pretty to walk down, good for pedestrians, cyclists and cars, better visibility at corners
      • Sponsored resolution at City Hall to look into this issue and evaluate options.  Bike JC wants to introduce a protected bike lane.
      • One option: 4 lanes to 3 lanes, two straight lanes in either direction and one which is a shared dual turning lane
      • Christopher Columbus is also another location which is being looked at.  Jersey Ave would be a good
      • Protected bike lanes help prevent double parking and dooring issues
      • Concern about impacts of Grand street revision on Hospital ingress/egress
      • Bikes on sidewalk – not enough education on this!  There is education coming from Bike JC – can use this as an opportunity to spread the word and will push enforcement in appropriate places.  Also applies to electric bikes used for deliveries on sidewalks and in bike lanes.
      • Should be a more city-wide program which includes connectivity of all neighborhoods.  Systematically.
      • Grand Street is a specific problem that needs to be addressed – resolution created to hire an external firm to do it right.  Bid went out to get someone on board, will bring a few people from community on board for some input.
      • Transportation planner should have vision for whole city, grant funding is typically required to be slated for a certain area as funding becomes available
      • Contact:  BikeJC.org; info@bikejc.org
  • Jermaine Robinson – Ward F Councilman
    • Grew up in Greenville, owns light rail café
    • Quality of life is important to him –
    • Turnout is representative of residents’ care for their neighborhood
    • He is here for all of Ward F – no part is forgotten!
    • He wants Jersey City to grow, not just Ward F.  He feels he can help and make a difference.
    • Need to develop a better way to get info to community in advance so he will know our questions and positions so he can better represent us.
    • Committee People want to meet w/him to assist
    • JDROBINSON@JCNJ.ORG
    • Social Media is important too
    • Let’s figure out a way to unite Ward F!  “Bridging the Gap”

New Business

  • Special Guest Attendees
    • Sandra Lovely – Founded Greenville Neighborhood Alliance which includes parts of Ward F & A.  First Time they all came together to support one another and rally around common goals; Neighborhood Watch Program – 20+ block and neighborhood associations participating
    • Chris Perez – Berry-Hill and Bayside Associations
  • Parking issue
    • Lack of enforcement for zone parking areas is a frustration
    • Way behind the curve in comparison to other cities.  Need to explore other options.
    • Volunteers interested should reach out to vvpanews@gmail – VVPA will help to form a committee, along with members from DCNA to help
      • Pilot program on a one block stretch – grassroots approach
      • Flyers, call RRC to explore options such as one sided or resident only parking to see what works best and then can be expanded
    • Why is enforcement an issue?
      • Appropriated more $ for enforcement, but haven’t hired up to expend those appropriated dollars.  New vision needed w/in city to address this.
      • Function of technology and systems is also an issue – what is City doing about this?  No information at this time.
      • What’s best way to address this?  Call in RRC!
  • JC Arts Council – newly formed organization backed by City of Jersey City, but separate entity
    • March 4th, 12pm – 6pm – 331 Newark Ave – Open House.   Looking for feedback to
  • Announcement: JC For Hilary group recently formed: “if you attack our community, you should not profit from our community
  • Charter School – Spring Gala March 25th @ Historic JC Women’s Club/Casino Night; lccs.org
  • Historic Black Colleges Tour for HS students – free day trip
  • DCNA – planning for Gubernatorial, Mayoral and Council Debates closer to election time
  • Threat of Federal funds coming to sanctuary city – impact?
    • Law Department is fairly confident that the executive order will not be upheld.  Exploring possibility of developing briefs to contest the order.

Adjournment – 8:50 pm