News

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

January 2017 VVPA Monthly Meeting Minutes

09 Feb 2017, Posted by Yolanda Foley in Minutes

Meeting Minutes – January 17th, 2017

  1. Assemblyman Raj Mukherji
    1. Overview of the tax reval from state legislature standpoint
    2. Overview of Abbott districts and how, according to Mukherji, Jersey City is singled out by legislators in non-urban districts whose constituents’ do not face the same issues as Jersey City residents
    3. Overview of proposed education plans and how legislature is addressing the.
    4. Issues of education funding and JC’s status as an Abbott District will come to head in next 18 months to 2 years.
    5. Next steps:
      1. Contact gubernatorial candidates (Ambassador Murphy and Wizniewski)
      2. Contact Assemblyman Mukherji’s office
      3. Contact legislators in other districts to convey Jersey City’s specific issues as an urban school district
  2. General Business
    1. Overview of upcoming events
    2. Overview Redevelopment plans in VVPA, Master Plan for JC
    3. Noise complaints about Mexican restaurant at Bright & Barrow – call into RRC for leverage against the city
    4. Appointment of Ward F councilman – Saturday, January 24 (special city council meeting)
    5. Call for board positions needed to be filled

NEW INFORMATION  

We just received new information regarding this meeting and are passing it along to you.  According to City Council, due to the projected number of attendees, there will not be an opportunity for public comment at this meeting.  The two nominated candidates (Jermaine Robinson and Michael Griffin) may possibly speak at this special meeting.  City Council has indicated that residents should email their opinions regarding the candidates as soon as possible to Rolando Lavarro and copy all the council members.
As per the City of Jersey City website, council email addresses are as follows:

TITLE NAME EMAIL ADDRESS
Council President Rolando R. Lavarro, Jr.  RLavarro@jcnj.org  
Councilwoman at Large Joyce Watterman jwatterman@jcnj.org 
Councilman at Large Daniel Rivera DRivera@jcnj.org 
Ward A (Greenville) Councilman Frank Gajewski FGajewski@jcnj.org
Ward B (West Side) Councilman Chris L. Gadsden CGadsden2@jcnj.org
Ward C (Journal Square) Councilman Richard Boggiano RBoggiano@jcnj.org 
Ward D (The Heights) Councilman Michael Yun MYun@jcnj.org 
Ward E (Downtown) Councilwoman Candice Osborne COsborne@jcnj.org

 


 

On Saturday, 1/21/17 at 6pm, there will be a special council meeting in City Hall (280 Grove St) to decide who will be the councilperson selected to represent Ward F.  Please make every effort to come out to voice your opinions and contribute to the discussion.  Help set the direction for your community by being active in this selection process!
All are welcome and encouraged to attend.  Spread the word: tell your friends and neighbors!

January 2017 VVPA Monthly Newsletter

20 Jan 2017, Posted by Yolanda Foley in Meeting Agendas, News You Can Use

On behalf of the VVPA, happy new year!  After our hiatus in December, we are looking forward to reconnecting with all of you at our next VVPA monthly meeting, which will be held on Tuesday, January 17th at 7:00pm in The Barrow Mansion (83 Wayne St.).


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 speakers from the Van Hook Cheese Shop to tell us about their business, and Assemblyman Raj Mukherji discussing legislation he is proposing which will temper the impact of property tax increases post revaluation.

Agenda:

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

7:10pm – 7:40pm – Officer & Committee Reports

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

7:40pm – 8:15pm – Guest Speakers & Presentations

  • Van Hook Cheese Shop
  • Assemblyman Raj Mukherj

8:15pm – 8:55pm – New Business

  • Learn about Redevelopment Plans (RDPs) in the Van Vorst Park Neighborhood
  • Membership Committee: looking for volunteers
  • Ward F Councilperson
  • Community input is welcomed for any other new issues/concerns affecting our community.

8:55pm – 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, a 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
As usual, the VVPA Events Committee is busy planning many amazing events for this year!  Stay tuned for more details!!

Holiday Wrap Up
Did you attend the Holiday Open House?  Did you have fun???  Show your thanks by volunteering to help take down decorations at the Barrow Mansion.  Send an email to vvpanews@gmail.com to sign up, and we will let you know about the date and time.

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Other Community Events

Martin Luther King Celebration – Sunday, 1/15/17, 6pm-8pm
Join friends and community members at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church to celebrate the life and legacy of the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.  For more information, click here.

Democratic Rally – “Our First Stand: Save Health Care”  – Sunday, 1/15/17, 11:30am
Join Democratic members of Congress and community members for a day of action and rally to take a stand for health care.  For more information on this event, click here.

Coffee With a Cop – Wednesday, 1/25/17, 7pm-9pm
Join local police officers and other community members for a cup of coffee at Indiegrove to discuss issues and build relationships.  For more information, click here.

Paint & Sip – Wednesday, 2/1/17, 12pm
Come out to support WomenRising (a community-based organization for women in Hudson County) for their paint and sip night!  Participants will paint a themed tile which will be added to an installation and displayed at the WomenRising main office.  For more information, click here.


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.

VVPA Sponsorsin order to bring your 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.  Or, you can go directly to the VVPA website and click on the Donate button!  Don’t forget: VVPA is a 501c3 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.
**********************************************************************************************************************************
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 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.

**********************************************************************************************************************************
Winter Weather Advisories

  • Warming Stations – The Hudson County Winter Emergency System is in effect through 3/31/17.  The intent of this system is to provide shelter and services for those who seek it and to prevent anyone from sleeping on the street throughout the winter months.  For more information, click here.
  • JC Shovels – JC shovels, in partnership with the JC Department of Public Works is looking for volunteers to help low-income seniors and disabled homeowners with snow removal.  For additional information, and to register to be a volunteer, please click here.
  • Snow Removal – Let’s all be good neighbors (and stay compliant with the law!) by ensuring that we clear snow from the sidewalks surrounding our properties in a timely manner to allow for the safe passage of pedestrians, strollers, wheelchairs, etc.  It is illegal to dump snow in the street after the street has been plowed by the city; snow & ice should be piled within three feed inside the curb.  And, be mindful that residents cannot park on designated snow routes on designated snow emergency days.  Call the RRC for additional information.
  • Christmas Tree Disposal – Trees will be collected on Thursdays throughout January (please put out Wednesday night between 7pm and 10pm for pickup).  Trees must be free of ornaments, lights, plastic bags, etc.  Wreaths get placed curbside with your regular trash.  For more information, click here.

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 donation.  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.

December 2016 VVPA Monthly Newsletter

12 Dec 2016, Posted by Yolanda Foley in News You Can Use

There is no December monthly meeting!  We look forward to seeing everyone at the next VVPA monthly meeting, which will be held on Tuesday, January 17th, 2017 at 7:00pm in The Barrow Mansion, located at 83 Wayne St.

HAPPY HOLIDAYS!!


A Holiday Message from the Board of the VVPA

Dear VVPA Friends, Neighbors, Donors & Supporters:As we come to the end of 2016, we want to take a moment to thank everyone who has contributed throughout the year in their many ways to making the VVPA a vibrant community organization.  From financial support, to donations of all sorts, to volunteering one’s time organizing, setting up, and cleaning up after our rockin’ events, to participating in our monthly meetings, to attending the VVPA sponsored events.  The VVPA has been an active part of this vibrant community since 1975 because of all of you!

This holiday season is the perfect time to consider contributing once again to help the VVPA continue to sponsor free and low-cost community events throughout 2017.  Making a donation is simple!  You can donate by going to the VVPA website and clicking on the Donate button or sending a check to the VVPA C/O the Barrow Mansion (83 Wayne St., Jersey City).  You can also list the VVPA as you charitable organization of choice when you do your online shopping through Amazon’s smile program (smile.amazon.com).  As a 501c3, all donations are tax deductible, so this is the perfect way to wrap up your year-end charitable contributions.  And, don’t forget to check with your employer to see if they’ll match your charitable contribution!

Additionally, the VVPA is always looking for neighbors to lend a hand by volunteering at any number of our events (listed on our monthly newsletter), participating in our committees (construction & development, sponsorship/outreach, etc.) and/or contributing any professional services that you think would be in support of our mission.  Please reach out to the board at vvpanews@gmail.com to give back to the community organization that gives so much to you throughout the year!

Happy holidays, and we look forward to a bright and joyful 2017!

The board of the Van Vorst Park Association


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, a 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

VVPA/DCNA End of Year Holiday Celebration – December 10th, 7pm – 11pm
The Downtown Coalition of Neighborhood Associations (DCNA) and the VVPA will 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.  Stay tuned for more details about this awesome joint event!

The VVPA events committee is hard at work planning a ton of amazing events for 2017!  We’ll be kicking things off with a fun event in February, so stay tuned for details!


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.

  • VVPA Board – At our November general meeting, we elected new members to the board: Treasurer Dermot Ronan and At-Large Karen Lorentz.  Congratulations to the new members and a big thank you to outgoing board members Tom Ogorzalek, Jeff Agnew and Sheridan Bell for their service, dedication and hard work throughout the years!
  • VVPA Sponsorsin order to bring your 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.  Or, you can go directly to the VVPA website and click on the Donate button!  Don’t forget: VVPA is a 501c3 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.
  • JC Libraries – As always, the JC Libraries have a ton of cool events going on for kids, teens and adults!  Check out the list of December events here.
  • Bike JC – Bike JC is looking for community support for their vision to create Jersey City’s first protected bike lane on Grand Street.  They are looking to roll this out over the next few weeks and present the idea to City Council on December 14th.  For additional information, or to sign the petition, click here.
  • PATH Train 33rd St Line Weekend Service Suspension – According to the PATH’s website, the weekend service suspension on the 33rd St line which was in place to facilitate the installation of federally mandated Positive Train Control and Communications systems, is on still on schedule to complete by December 19th.

**********************************************************************************************************************************************
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 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.
     
  • 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.
  • 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 AuthorityTo get daily updates on whether or not parking rules are in effect in Jersey City, you can follow @JCParking on Twitter.  To reach the Parking Authority, please call the following numbers: Enforcement and Permits: 201.538.3248 or 201.538.2525; Signs: 201.206.8933.

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 donation.  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.