News

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.
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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.

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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.

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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.

VVPA/DCNA Annual Holiday Party!!

07 Dec 2016, Posted by Yolanda Foley in Events

Join us this Saturday at the DCNA Annual Holiday Party!!

WHEN
: Saturday December 10th
WHERE: The Barrow Mansion, 83 Wayne Street
TIME: 7-11 pm
ATTIRE: Holiday Festive!
ENTRANCE FEE: FREE!

We’ve got the food, beverages & music~ All we need is our neighbors to help us celebrate the holidays! So stop by for a visit or hang with us all night!!     To keep in the holiday spirit-Would you please consider bringing a non-perishable item with you to the holiday party for St Matthew’s Food Pantry!  Here are some much needed items:

One-can meals – ravioli & stews
Cereal Rice (1 lb bags)
Tuna
Canned tomatoes or sauce
Canned fruit or vegetables
Juice
Pasta

The VVPA is looking forward to seeing you on Saturday!

If you would like to join us as we decorate on Friday night (we may need a few more hands)–please email us at vvpanews@gmail.com.  There will be pizza from TWO BOOTS and lots of fun!!

Ten Things You Can Do to Improve Your Neighborhood

18 Nov 2016, Posted by Yolanda Foley in Updates

As discussed at our last monthly meeting, many of us are looking for ways to become more involved in our community and to make a difference in our neighborhoods.  Councilman Michael Yun has come up with a simple list of ten ways we can all make improvements in our neighborhoods:

  1.  Clean up your sidewalk and curb
  2. As 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.

November 2016 Monthly Meeting Minutes

18 Nov 2016, Posted by Yolanda Foley in Minutes

Meeting Minutes – November 15th, 2016

7:35pm – Call to Order – President Oona Moore

  • Call to action – decide as a community how we want to be. Take small actions to stay informed and improve your community.   Reach out to other communities in JC – better solidarity in the future.  Start local!
  • Welcome Bill from the New JSQ Community Association – Motto: “Clean, Green & Safe”
  • City Wide Coalition is still a goal to understand issues across the city – strength in numbers.
  • Planning Board Meeting Update – 328 Montgomery was on the agenda (new location for Hard Grove Café?). Facade was on agenda, applicant will be required to reconstruct according to original design.  Board stressed that Zoning/Nick Taylor stay on top of this project, including clearly defining hours of operation, what is it zoned for (Restaurant 1 & 2 – not a bar or nightclub).

Officer / Committee Reports

Treasurer Report – Tom Ogorzalek

  • All accounts in good standing, no outstanding bills, in good shape with projected operating expenses for the rest of the year

Construction /Development Committee Report – Tom Ogorzalek

  • Meetings generally held same day before the VVPA meeting. No need to be in the business, just have to have a need to want to help!
  • Goal: streamline process, keep lines of communication open, and make process inclusive. Work with developers prior to their VVPA community presentation to work out any issues that may be of concern for the community.  Has been beneficial to getting advance notice of development in community.  Saves time and money.

Events Committee Report – Eric Carter/Marlene Sandkamp

  • Halloween event was a success, great turnout.
  • Annual end-of-year celebration / open House in December in conjunction with DCNA and the Barrow Mansion on Saturday, 12/10 @ 7pm!  Music, caroling, food, wine, etc.  Bring a food pantry item to donate.  Friday night 12/9, help to decorate the mansion ~7pm – looking for volunteers – pizza will be served, bring some wine to share!
  • 2017 events are being planned – stay tuned for details.

Election Slate

  • President – Oona will extend for 6 months
  • First Vice President –Gerry Bakirtjy
  • Second Vice President – Ben Bernouy
  • Secretary – Yolanda will extend for 6 months
  • Treasurer – Dermot Ronan
  • At-Large – Angelo Estrada & Karen Lorentz
  • Important for the board to carry on strong – we have made great progress with the city, let’s keep the initiative going! Anyone who is interested in serving on the board, please let us know!

New Business

  • Ideas for recruiting new people?
    • Rebecca, president of Harsimus Cove Association – doing a door knocking campaign with pamphlets
    • Farmer’s Market in Van Vorst Park – get a volunteer to be out there on Saturdays to talk about VVPA
    • Get stories in NJ.com and Hudson Reporter
    • Perhaps create a director of membership position for VVPA?
  • Rally on Sunday – about kids & families and coming together.  Our community starts with us, so take action.
  • Thanksgiving Food Drive for needy families – city hall & each Fire House and Police District by Friday
  • 20th Annual Toy Drive – registration in process with RRC.

Guest Speakers

  • Rebecca Symes, GC for Dixon & Nelson (architect)
    • Rework of design, based on community feedback
    • Roof desk on rear addition, attaching existing garage to existing building – include interior staircase for access to roof deck (also serves as emergency egress)
    • 3-6 months construction estimate, trying to get on December agenda

Adjournment – 8:45 pm